This year’s drive raised $843,000 in cash and donations thanks to the generosity of Arizona.
Operation Santa Claus concluded on December 19 with an annual “Human Chain” of volunteers to pack trucks with this year’s donations. The chain lined the ABC15 building and stretched all the way out to the parking lot, staffed by Operation Santa Claus partners from iHeart Radio media, The UPS Stores and each of the four participating charities that benefit from the drive.
From November 20 through December 18, donations were raised from money, non-perishable food, new toys and children’s clothing. This year’s charities included St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Phoenix, Inc., Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center (SARRC) and Military Assistance Mission (MAM).
Everyone who donated was entered to win a brand-new car, either a 2015 Lincoln MKC or 2015 Ford F-150 from Sanderson Ford and Sanderson Lincoln. Fifteen finalists were chosen from the thousands of entries, and each of them received a $100 Visa gift card. The finalists were also given a key to try and start their brand new vehicle on December 19. One by one, they put their keys in the ignition on ABC15’s Sonoran Living Live, and Janice Snell from Phoenix was named the winner when her key started that motor on live TV!
"The 13th Annual Operation Santa Claus was the most organized and best one yet," said David Kimmerle, President of Sanderson Ford and Sanderson Lincoln. “It keeps getting bigger and better every year.”
“Operation Santa Claus is all about giving hope to our neighbors in need,” said Anita Helt, vice-president and general manager at ABC15. “Our viewers’ generosity is inspiring and continues to show us the meaning of the holidays.”
ABC15 and Sanderson Ford and Sanderson Lincoln were proud to partner with iHeart radio and The UPS Store locations for this annual drive and look forward to continuing the tradition in 2015.