Operation Sleighbells is FCS’s signature program, tracing its roots to the start of our agency in 1909, when a group of Long Branch community leaders committed their personal resources to buy toys for impoverished children at Christmastime. That original gesture evolved to include the distribution of food and coal to those in need, and later expanded to provide critical social services for individuals and families throughout Monmouth County.
Today Operation Sleighbells enlists hundreds of local businesses, churches, clubs, organizations, individuals and families during the holiday season to provide gifts of warm coats, hats, gloves, toys, books, infant necessities and other supplies for families who may be struggling financially or facing other challenges during a difficult time of year. We serve more than 1,500 children annually, preserving the dignity of participating families by requiring that both the sponsor and the recipient remain anonymous. If you would like to volunteer with Operation Sleighbells, there are many ways to help!
- Adopt a family
We’ll provide the ages, sizes and wishes of each child in a registered family. Some sponsors also provide gifts for the caregivers and create a basket of non-perishable food for the family’s holiday dinner.
- Host a collection drive
We’ll provide sleigh tags to hang on a tree at your workplace, school or club. Each tag lists the first name of a child with his or her age, size and holiday wishes. Employees or group members can then select a tag from the tree and buy a gift for that particular child.
- Donate gifts
We gladly accept new, unwrapped toys, clothes and non-perishable food items, and will sort and distribute them based on the needs of those registered for the program.
- Monetary donations and gift cards
If you don’t have time to shop, Family & Children’s Service will do the shopping for you.
We will work with businesses and organizations to coordinate a collection drive at your home or office. If you would like to participate, Interested in volunteering for Operation Sleighbells? Give us a call, or email us at email@example.com