Operation Santa Claus at Tobyhanna Army Depot

COOLBAUGH TOWNSHIP -- Holiday cheer filled the air Wednesday at the Tobyhanna Army Depot in Coolbaugh Township, all for one mission: "Operation Santa Claus."

The annual tradition gives hundreds of local children with mental and physical disabilities a Christmas celebration they won't soon forget.

"We've got hundreds of kids here, hundreds of volunteers, and we are spreading the holiday spirit. It's a good opportunity for us to pay back the local support that we receive and bring the kids in and put a smile on their face," said Col. Nathan Swartz, Tobyhanna Army Depot.

'Operation Santa Claus' at the depot has been going strong for decades.

The tradition started in the 1950s.

Toys, electronics, and more are given as gifts to children.

"This is actually really cool and I am actually really excited and everything," said Amelia, who is 10 years old.

"It's really fun and really cool," said Mireya Brown, a 9 year old.

The children had a chance to visit with Santa and enjoy music, dancing with characters, crafts and more.

This year, about 600 children, 20 regional agencies, and a number of different schools took part in the celebration.

"I have cried here. I have smiled here. I have had so much fun here. It really gets you into the Christmas spirit. It reminds you how important it is to be good to one another, say Merry Christmas and have a good day," said Colleen Gavin, NAF Support Services United States Department of Defense.

The mission made possible by donations through the depot and other businesses.


  • Georgie

    At the commissary? I’ve heard the baggers there sometimes get crappy tips. Some of them are older too and walk customers out to their cars in horrible weather. Sad.

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