Operation Holiday begins; applications start Monday

Students help sort donated food items into bins at the Operation Holiday distribution center in 2013.
Students help sort donated food items into bins at the Operation Holiday distribution center in 2013. File photo

One of the largest seasonal fundraising efforts to help the poor and working poor in Kansas has begun.

Inter-Faith Ministries hosted a news conference Thursday announcing the kickoff for Operation Holiday. For 54 years, Operation Holiday has helped low-income families and individuals in the Wichita area through the Thanksgiving and Christmas season by providing food, winter clothing and toys.

“It is a coming together of all the different faiths. … Our heritage leads us to help others. Every human on Earth has that calling,” said David Dear, honorary chair of Operation Holiday.

“We couldn’t do it without all the people in the community that come in and help with the distribution center.”

This year, the program hopes to help more than 13,000 people by raising $350,000 to provide grocery store cards and collecting 150,000 nonperishable food items, 3,000 new blankets and 6,000 clean, warm coats.

Operation Holiday is also working with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program to collect toys for children.

Applications for the program will be taken from Monday through Nov. 26. The distribution center this year will be at 6225 E. Kellogg Drive.

Volunteers will start collecting food, blankets, toys and winter coats beginning Monday. Some donation sites already have begun collecting.

“We have to give people the benefit of the doubt,” Dear said. “You look at somebody and you think, ‘They don’t need my help.’ Oh yeah, they do.

“Sometimes people are very proud and don’t want people to know how bad they really have it. Everybody needs help.”

Reach Beccy Tanner at 316-268-6336 or btanner@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @beccytanner.

Where to apply

Atwood Neighborhood City Hall, 2755 E. 19th St., 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. Saturdays. Applications will be taken from Monday through Nov. 24. The City Hall is closed Nov. 11.

Colvin Neighborhood City Hall, 2820 S. Roosevelt, 1 to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Hours on Nov. 26 are 1 to 4 p.m. It is closed Nov. 11.

Evergreen Neighborhood City Hall, 2700 N. Woodland, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Closed Nov. 11.

Horace Mann Dual Language Magnet, 1243 N. Market, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; 8 a.m. to 5 p.m on Wednesday. Closed Nov. 11 and Nov. 26.

Inter-Faith Ministries Operation Holiday Distribution Site, 6255 E. Kellogg Drive, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Also open Dec 1-3.

Inter-Faith Ministries Enrichment Center, 902 N. Market, 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Also open Dec. 1-3.

St. Anne Middle School, 2801 S. Seneca, 9 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m. Monday and Friday; 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday.

Christ the King, 4411 W. Maple, 9 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday; 1 to 2 p.m. Saturday.

St. Margaret Mary, 2635 Pattie, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday from Monday through Nov. 21. Closed week of Thanksgiving.

Spanish-speaking applicants may go to Colvin, Evergreen and Horace Mann.

Eligibility guidelines

Applicants must live in Sedgwick County or the surrounding area and be 17 years of age or older. Emancipated teens under age 18 must show court documents. Applicants must be a member of the applying family or household.

When applicants apply, they must bring with them:

▪ Identification

▪ Proof of address

▪ Social Security numbers for every member of the family, including children

▪ An immunization card for all children under age 18 living in the household

▪ First and last names of all family members

▪ A birth date for all family members

▪ Proof of income for all members of the household

▪ Telephone or message number

▪ A date and time for distribution.

Income guidelines

Maximum monthly gross for a household size of:

1 — $1,200

2 — $1,650

3 — $2,100

4 — $2,500

5 — $3,000

6 — $3,350

7 — $3,800

8 — $4,100

9 — $4,475

For more information, go to http://interfaithwichita.org/index.php/operation_holiday/ or call 316-264-9303.

Donation sites

▪ Wells Fargo, 6321 E. Central, 455 S. West St. and 300 S. Main

▪ Dillons

▪ Spangles

▪ Meritrust Credit Union

▪ In the Bag Cleaners

▪ Two Men and a Truck, 8537 W. 21st St. and 309 S. Greenwich.

People can also drop off checks and cash at Inter-Faith Ministries, 820 N. Market.