Operation Santa 2020
No child should think Santa has forgotten them, especially this year with Covid-19. Black Country Radio has teamed up with the elves from Operation Santa to help make that a reality.
Operation Santa is a local campaign which has been operating for over 40 years. The idea is simple - they collect donations of new toys, gifts and food to help make Christmas special for children, young people and their families across Dudley borough.
2020 will be harder than usual with the impact of the pandemic, so this year is more important than ever.
Many of the recipients would otherwise get nothing for Christmas and the scheme channels donations to local voluntary, community and faith groups who support children and families in crisis. Whatever is collected only goes to children, young people and their families who live within Dudley borough, it does not go out of the area or overseas.
Many of our recipients are from families where the parents work, but are struggling to make ends meet. At the last count over one third of the children in the borough have been classified as disadvantaged and live below the poverty line, so every year is a challenge.
Thanks to some fabulous supporters, last year Operation Santa received 13,000 donations which were shared out to local children, young people and their families.
About Operation Santa
Operation Santa relies entirely on donations, and everyone involved is a volunteer - working with a range of organisations and voluntary groups. Gifts are channelled through a number of support organisations to make sure the most vulnerable families across the borough receive support.
For more information check our FAQ's.
What do Operation Santa collect?
Operation Santa collects anything a child or young person may need - and not just toys and gifts. We have new clothing donated such as pyjamas, dressing gowns and slippers.
Last year included a fabulous corporate donation from a large well-known national store, including new baby and children’s clothes, adult sized jumpers, coats, hats, boots and even fleecy blankets, sleeping bags and battery powered lanterns, which were passed on to a charity supporting young homeless people.
Food and Christmas treats are donated too and packs are distributed.
You can download information on items that can be donated, here:
DROP OFF POINTS:
Given that from 5 November until the 2 December there is a national Covid-19 lock down in place - we've sadly had to make some changes to our drop off points. You can drop off gifts to the following locations:
Volksmagic - 111a Park Lane, Oldbury B69 4LP
The team will be working throughout and are delighted to take your donations.
(Mon-Sat-8.30am - 4.30pm)
- BRIERLEY HILL
Brierley Hill Market Hall - High St, Brierley Hill DY5 3AP
(Tues, Thurs, Fri, Sat 8am-4pm)
The Market is open for food and essentials stalls only. You may drop your donations to Steve – as you enter the Market through the entrance by the florist, his stall is the first on the left as you go into the Market. It sells toiletries and household essentials.
The Black Country Shop / Duncan Edwards Foundation, 257 Castle Street, Dudley DY1 1LQ
The shop is open for click and collect orders only, but the shutters will be up on the front of the shop and the door locked, so please knock on the door and they will take in your donations.
(Mon to Fri 9am-5pm; Sat 9am-3pm)
Black Country Cleaners, 14 Marmion Grove, Dudley DY1 2DG
Tel: 07990 277785
Mon-Sat 9am-6pm; Sun 9am-2pm
Halesowen BID Office, 1 Hagley Street, Halesowen, B63 3AS
Vicky and her team will be working throughout the pandemic, so if you wish to arrange to drop your donations, Halesowen BID office will be available for drop offs on Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays between 9am and 3pm.
Blaze Hair, 37 Lapwood Avenue, Kingswinford DY6 8RP
Please use their Facebook page to arrange a drop off and Brett will arrange to meet you at a suitable time. @BlazeHairSalon
Darren from the Cornish Pasty Box is offering an opportunity to drop gifts at the Cornish Pasty Box on his Click and Collect Days.
The Cornish Pasty Box, Bradley Road, Wollaston, Stourbridge, DY8 1UX.
(Near Lion Health Centre, opposite the Fitness Factory).
Tuesday 9-1 and Saturdays 10-2
If you would like to make a donation and can’t get to one of the above collection points or for larger collections please contact the Grotto Hotline on 07860 644468 or message the team on the form below.
Requests for Support
Our distribution of donations is based on criteria the team have had in place for several years. Operation Santa ONLY takes referrals from schools, social services or voluntary, community or faith groups for distribution of donations.
Sadly we can't deal with parents directly. The referring organisation will verify the families circumstances and enables the team to ensure that the limited donations received are channeled to those most in need.
WIN: A VW Beetle, inspired by a well known film!
A new shape Volkswagen Beetle, with the nickname 'Herbie', has been donated by the team at Beerbuz and refurbished by the team at Volksmagic and their partners.
In support of Operation Santa, it's being raffled to raise as much as possible for the cause.
Contacting Operation Santa
The easiest way to send a general enquiry is to complete the contact form below.
Or you can message the team via Facebook: @opsantadudleyborough
Please note that we get a large amount of enquiries in the run up to Christmas - we may take a few days to reply. Alternatively, you can call the Grotto Hotline on 07860 644468.
*Phone lines operate Mon-Fri, 09:30-16:30, during November and December. There is NO answering service, so if you can't get through we suggest calling back later in the day or sending a message through our contact form.