News Center

Monday, November 2, 2009

Operation Bright Christmas shines light on needy youngsters

BEECH GROVE, Ind. – The effects of the economy are never more glaring than during the holidays – and that’s why St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers is getting an early start by partnering with LifeBridge Community to help needy families.

Operation Bright Christmas serves families during the holidays, benefiting an estimated children living in poverty in Beech Grove and Indianapolis’ south side. St. Francis has joined with LifeBridge and is now accepting donations until Dec. 17 to help these families.

Donations being accepted: new toys, new or gently used infant clothing and items, wrapping paper, gift bags, tags, ribbon, batteries, DVDs or CDs (“G” or “PG” rating only), video and board games (“G” rating only), twin size bedding, gift cards in small denominations, faith-based items, and sports toys (balls, bats, gloves, etc.).

Donors are asked not to provide clothing, or toys that are of violent and occult nature. Toys that are broken or missing pieces also will not be accepted.

Donations are being accepted 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily at the Spiritual Care offices at St. Francis Hospital-Beech Grove, 1600 Albany St.; St. Francis Hospital-Indianapolis, 8111 S. Emerson Ave.; and St. Francis Hospital-Mooresville, 1201 Hadley Road.

Last year, more than 400 youngsters received gifts through Operation Bright Christmas, thanks to the many donors, volunteers and participating organizations. St. Francis filled a large truck with toy donations.

“We believe the need will be even greater this year as many are reeling from the effects the recession and the spike in unemployment,” said Julia Dearing, who is helping coordinate St. Francis’ participation in the gift-giving program.

LifeBridge Community is a faith-based ministry that seeks to instill hope in the lives of children, young adults and families through nurturing relationships and supportive services. More information about the organization is at