Operation Secret Santa underway in Lexington

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WDKY) – Operation Secret Santa is underway in Lexington, delivering hundreds of gifts for those in need around central Kentucky.

Over the last three days, donations of toys and clothes by the thousands have flooded the warehouse behind West Sixth Street Brewery.

But this year, the need has expanded, so the gifts are not just toys.

“This is our fourth year,” said Josh McFarland, Operation Secret Santa. “It’s our first year we are actually doing clothes and food to go along with the toys. We figured 2020 is a year to start.

Operation Secret Santa took a poll on Facebook and ask how many people have food insecurities and 70 percent said they did.

“508 households and the food that we have, we have stuff that they can prepare so they can have a Christmas meal,” McFarland said. “We have chicken, chicken broth, stuffing butter eggs.”

Staple foods that warm the belly. But for these volunteers that are delivering, the good deed warms the soul.

“It feels really heartwarming when you see the need like this,” said volunteer Vonda Tolliver-Cornett. “So many kids, especially with COVID shutting down a lot of the nonprofits in town that serve these families. It’s heartwarming.”

Tolliver-Cornett and her family are playing the role of Santa’s Helpers. They drive around the city, find their destination and play a game of ding dong ditch with a surprise box on the porch.

Elvira Fadela’s family was one that received gifts this year. COVID-19 has forced her to stay at home with the kids while they attend virtual learning.

“This is the first year we received it and we are so glad. We wish you a merry Christmas a happy new year and take care, God Bless,” Fadela said.

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