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Susquehanna Life

Operation Santa Claus a Success

May 26, 2015 05:10PM ● By Erica Shames

The 3rd Annual Rich Huff, Operation Santa Claus, Chinese/Silent Auctions was held last weekend and, according to Jane Mertz, one of the hard-working volunteers who helps to organize this event, it was a huge success.  

“We are already in action with the money we raised,” Jane told Susquehanna Life Magazine. “We have gotten clothes for children, helped with medicine for another child, and will be buying a bunk bed and a twin bed for a woman’s three children from the state of Washington, who ran away from an abusive situation and relocated to our area.  It is our hope that we can continue to help our area children who are definitely needy.”

Susquehanna Life magazine donated free subscriptions for the event, and many other businesses donated goods and services. 

According to Jane, “Your free magazine subscriptions were a big hit with so many people.  Your business name was displayed for all to see and I made sure to announce during a church service about supporting your business.  Thank you again for being a big part of this event.  I hope I can count on you again next year.”

If your business would like to help organize or donate items for next year’s event, please contact Jane Mertz at She would love to hear from you.

About the Rich Huff, Operation Santa Claus event: Rich Huff was a member of United in Christ Lutheran Church, West Milton. His house caught on fire (two years ago) and he died from complications from the fire. He played Santa Claus at the Lycoming Mall for a great number of years. This fund is our way of remembering Rich.

We give 100% of the proceeds to needy children in the WR, Milton, Selinsgrove, Lewisburg, and Mifflinburg areas. We have given clothes, money for school lunches, gifts at Christmas, etc. We work with the guidance counselors and school nurses to see where there is a need that has fallen through the cracks. 

We were very busy from September to December. A few of our donations were: a high school boy's father contracted lymphoma and therefore had no money for back-to-school clothes shopping, a family of four children (two in high school, two in elementary) needed coats, gloves and hats, and two elementary school girls just needed leggings and sweatshirts. Another family of five children had their father (and one of the kids) involved in a car crash and therefore the father had to quit his job. We helped them out at Christmas.   We even helped two Head Start students and a little guy at Haven Ministries.

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