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Operation Holiday: Job loss comes at the worst time for single mother

Emma’s job loss came unexpectedly.

She’d been working as a team leader for a delivery company when she was suddenly let go, and the timing for her was terrible.

Just weeks after becoming unemployed, the single mother found out she was pregnant with a second child. And as she looks for another job, she wonders how she’ll make ends meet for herself, her 4-year-old daughter and her child on the way.

“Sometimes I can’t even sleep thinking about it,” she said.

Emma, whose name has been changed to protect her privacy, has always been someone who helps others in need, but now she could use some help herself.

It’s for people like Emma that Operation Holiday exists.

Operation Holiday

Operation Holiday was started in 1991 at The Mercury in Pottstown to help families going through tough times provide something for their children during the holidays. The mission of the program is to make sure there is food on the table and gifts under the tree when Christmas morning comes.

Now in its 33rd year, the program has served thousands of families throughout Berks, Chester and Montgomery counties, expanding its reach in recent years to include communities served by Reading Eagle, The Times Herald, The Reporter and Daily Local News.

More than $91,000 in donations last year provided food and gifts for 451 children and 199 families, plus cash donations to food  pantries in Berks, Chester and Montgomery counties.

This year, Operation Holiday has partnered with 19 agencies in the tri-county area. Agencies have referred 165 families with 419 children for gifts and food. There is no overhead with Operation Holiday and all funds stay local. Funds are collected and audited in a nonprofit foundation account managed by staff of MediaNews Group who volunteer their time.

Gift cards to area grocery stores are provided to each family for food so they can purchase the fixings for a holiday dinner as well as staples for the pantry. Weis Markets is a partner with Operation Holiday and has assisted with food purchases and gift cards.

Gift cards for every child in the program 16 years of age or younger are purchased through Boscov’s and distributed in partnership with the referring agencies so families can purchase gifts of their choice.

Operation Holiday does not accept families who have not been referred by an agency. Operation Holiday is funded solely by reader contributions. All contributions are tax deductible.

How to donate

Online donations are being accepted in a secure portal in partnership with TriCounty Community Network. Visit tcnetwork.org and click on the link for Operation Holiday.

Contributions can be mailed with checks payable to Operation Holiday to P.O. Box 1181, Pottstown PA 19464; The Reporter, 307 Derstine Ave., Lansdale PA 19446; Operation Holiday, 1440 Lacrosse Ave., Reading, PA 19607.

The names of all contributors are published in the participating newspapers as donations are received.

Please note whether a contribution should be designated as anonymous or given in tribute or in memory of someone.


Source: Berkshire mont

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