The History of Operation Ho, Ho, Ho…
As many of you know and some of you are about to find out, every year at this wonderful time of year we collect Christmas Gifts for the Ronald McDonald house and bring them down the RM House in Long Branch on Christmas Eve to help out our good friend Mr. Claus bring cheer to those who need it.
We started this tradition when I wasn’t a slave to corporate America, but instead an aspiring entrepreneur enjoying the reigns of the lawn mowers of Hansch Landscaping over 12 years ago. Through the years this tradition has grown and taken on many different forms and many different elves have joined along the way. The amazing thing was that this tradition didn’t stop the year I spent Christmas in a warmer spot south of the border on the beaches of Australia. Instead the elves plowed through and ensured the gifts were delivered to the Ronald McDonald house on schedule!!
I know this time of year your busy buying presents for friends and loved ones, donating to various charities and busy trying to get everything done before the year’s end. These are all amazing things and we want to encourage you not get wrapped up in the idea of buying presents, but instead the smile that an unexpected gift can bring. It’s amazing how we can become so consumed by the little things in life that we forget what it’s all about, we forget about the bigger picture and what really makes us enjoy life.
We have had the most success with Operation Ho, Ho, Ho by encouraging our family and friends that host holiday parties to ask their guests to bring an unwrapped present instead of a bottle of wine or trinket for the host. We have found that people always want to show their appreciation to their host with a present, though many times these presents go into a closet and collect dust. Instead, by asking for an unwrapped gift for Operation Ho, Ho, Ho – we can collect these gifts and bring a smile to a child’s face who really needs and appreciates it!
The toys we collect are brought to the Ronald McDonald House of Long Branch, NJ on Christmas Eve. The Ronald McDonald House is a wonderful charity which aids children’s families when they have a sick child in the hospital. (For more info on the Ronald McDonald House, please click here.). In addition, the Ronald McDonald House works with its sister location and many local charities to make sure all of the gifts find a home where they are truly needed. Every year when we unload the sleigh, I’m truly amazed at the hospitality and genuine feeling that the staff of the Ronald McDonald House purvey.
So, go out and donate a gift to someone that is not expecting it, whether it is through our gift drive for the Ronald McDonald House or any one of the other amazing charities….
If you would like to participate with our toy drive, there’s a bunch of different ways that you can. No matter where you’re located, we have a specially trained team of elves on the job to collect the gifts. Here’s a rundown of the squad…
- Bonnie, Michele or Kim Hansch (Whippany Area)
- Anthony & Donna Sabatino (Soprano Area)
- Tom & Jennifer Laracy (Good old Jersey Shore)
- Mark Crawford (The Business Elf)
- Bunk & Jo (The Elves with the biggest hearts!!)
- John & Geri O’ Brien (The Jamison Elves)
- Lauren Hughes (The Yoga/AAA Elf)
- Myself — Everywhere
So, if you would like to join us in spreading the magic of Santa Claus, please see the details below. Thank you for considering this very worthy cause, because, as we all know, the joy of the season really comes from what we can share with others!
What – An unwrapped gift for anyone ages 2 – 16 (Previous years we’ve collected everything from stuffed animals and Matchbox cars to Game Boys and radio controlled cars to board games)
When – Before December 23rd (The Green Sleigh delivers the goodies on Christmas Eve)
Where – Drop the presents off to your local elf or to Blue (42 East Fairchild in Whippany) or I’ll come and pick them up…
If you want to get more involved and want me to print you out some signs or you have any other ideas, please let me know – the more the better!!!
Hope you’re all having a great day and getting into the Christmas spirit! If you have any questions, just let me know…