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Staff with Baltimore City Public Schools launch Operation Santa Claus

Posted at 4:49 PM, Nov 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-20 18:18:03-05

BALTIMORE — Families in need are getting some virtual help this holiday season through Operation Santa Claus. Two women working in the education field have spearheaded the campaign at Armistead Gardens Elementary Middle School.

"We created a registry based on kids wish lists. Some parents gave us a specific link. Some gave us an idea," said school social worker, Heather Higgins. "My coworker Natasha and I found all the items on Amazon, put the links together, created a registry just like if it were a wedding. All you have to do is click the link. It gets mailed directly to us at school."

The compiled registry has items from $5 to $90 dollars.

"I think the best part about Operation Santa Claus is just the fact that it reaffirms that there’s so much positive in the world after a year that’s been really challenging for so many people," said Natasha Bentzen.

Bentzen is the Community School Coordinator with the Y. Her office at Armistead Gardens has been transformed into a temporary gift storage room. Since Wednesday, Amazon packages filled with gifts have been arriving.

WMAR 2 News was treated to a sneak peek of some of the gifts.

"There’s a Paw Patrol toy, coloring books," said Bentzen.

The items are being organized as they come in and will be delivered a week before Christmas to the 30 families participating in Operation Santa Clause.

"We're encouraging anyone who wants to help, to join in," said Higgins.

Anyone who wants to participate in Operation Santa Clause is encouraged to visit the Amazon registry created by Higgins and Bentzen. To view to the registry, click here.