featured graphic for Orange County Social Services Agency during COVID-19

Operation Santa Claus, Senior Santa & Friends drives collecting for the holiday season

The Operation Santa Claus and Senior Santa & Friends holiday gift drives are currently collecting donations for children and seniors across the county, respectively.

Operation Santa Claus, which began as a small effort to meet the needs of a handful of children in 1962, has become a major event for the community. This program provides gifts and toys to children who are in foster care in Orange County as well as to children of disadvantaged families who are receiving services from the County of Orange. Last year, Operation Santa Claus distributed over 41,000 toys/gifts to children in need. This would not be possible without the generosity and collaborative effort of County of Orange employees, community-based organizations, businesses and individuals in the community who play an important role in collecting toys.

In addition to Operation Santa Claus, SSA also runs Senior Santa & Friends. This program is geared toward providing gifts and special request items to low income elderly or severely disabled adults who are clients of SSA and/or the Orange County Health Care Agency.

Each year, SSA staff identifies clients who would benefit from having items such as household appliances, special medical equipment, nutritional supplements or clothing. Items received through Senior Santa & Friends help to make life easier, more comfortable or more independent. Last year, Senior Santa & Friends provided over 2,300 gifts and necessities to low-income seniors and adults with disabilities in Orange County. This was largely due to the efforts of volunteers and donations received from County employees, private companies, community-based organizations and private individuals who donate to Senior Santa & Friends annually.

“Now more than ever, Operation Santa Claus and Senior Santa and Friends is looking to our local volunteers and donors to help make the holidays special and hopeful for Orange County children, elderly and disabled adults,” said Second District Supervisor Michelle Steel, Chairwoman of the Orange County Board of Supervisors. She continued, “In past years we have seen an amazing outpouring of support from County staff and from the community to bring joy to our vulnerable populations during the holidays. We are hopeful the same tradition of giving will continue this season.”

The two programs are hoping to achieve a goal of $20,000 in total donations received by the end of this year. Orange County residents can take part by donating to Operation Santa Claus and Senior Santa & Friends as follows:

Donate new and unwrapped toys at the collection boxes placed in many County buildings including every County Library throughout Orange County. In addition, Orange County residents may also drop off toys and other gifts at 1505 E. Warner Ave., Santa Ana, CA 92705. Please call 714-679-2438 or email [email protected] to ask about drop off times and locations.

Orange County residents may also donate online at:

For more information about Operation Santa Claus, please call (714) 679-2438 or email [email protected]

And, for more information about Senior Santa & Friends, please call (714) 825-3111 or e-mail [email protected]

This article was released by the County of Orange Social Services Agency.