Midland TX – The Center for Children and Families’ ninth annual Operation Elf event took place Tuesday as 200 kids peruses through tables stacked with princess toys, art supplies, sports equipment and dolls.
Parent Education Director for the center, Amanda Gunter, who helped organize the event, said the free toy and book are to provide joy to children who participate in these programs. “These kids don’t have the easiest of times, sometimes,” Gunter said.
The organization offers several serves including counseling, post-adoption support and supervised visitation with non-custodial parents and education for teens in the foster care program. And by getting the treat of a visit with Santa and the ability to pick out a toy from the plethora displayed Tuesday, the staff is hoping they get to enjoy some time just being a kid. “We’re here to help the community,” Gunter said.
Tristen Ochoa, 9, from left, his father Orlando, and mother Lynette look for good book to read after picking out a toys for Tristen and his two sisters Tuesday during Operation Elf at the Centers for Children and Families. Cindeka Nealy/Reporter-Telegram