The Illinois State Police (ISP) participated in the Illinois State Police Heritage Foundation ‘Operation Santa’ program which provides food, gifts, and holiday cheer to families in need of assistance. The ‘Operation Santa’ program, which is funded by Walmart, has typically taken place in the schools, however, because of the pandemic, ‘Operation Santa’ was a drive-thru event this year. Members of the Illinois State Police, the Cicero Police Department, and Rush-Copley Medical Group volunteered to ensure 36 families still received assistance this year.
The first drive-thru location was held on Tuesday, December 22nd at the ISP District 5 Headquarters in Lockport, IL. The second drive-thru location was held on Wednesday, December 23rd at the Cicero Fairgrounds in Cicero, IL. The families received gifts from a wish list provided by each person in the family as well as food for their holiday dinner table.
The ISP was humbled to help the community in this way and to be part of a great project. “It is a humbling privilege to be involved in the ‘Operation Santa’ program when many families find difficulty during the holidays,” stated ISP District 5 Interim Commander Lieutenant David Keltner. “To be able to put smiles on kids’ faces with Santa and gifts, and provide food for their families’ Christmas dinner, brings all the volunteers joy and a touch of the Christmas spirit,” added Lieutenant Keltner.