Christian Center of Park City’s Operation Hope returns to help families during the holidays |

Christian Center of Park City’s Operation Hope returns to help families during the holidays

Donations are still being accepted

Donated toys fill tables during a previous edition of the Christian Center of Park City's Operation Hope, a program that spreads holiday cheer to children of underprivileged families in Summit and Wasatch counties. This year’s event in Summit County will be held Dec. 14 and 15.
Courtesy of the Christian Center of Park City

The Christian Center of Park City continues to spread holiday cheer through Operation Hope, its version of Sub for Santa.

Summit County’s Operation Hope will run from Dec. 14 and 15 at the Christian Center’s of Park City’s Gathering Space, 1283 Deer Valley Drive, said Rob Harter, Christian Center of Park City executive director.

As in the past, volunteers will set up tables and turn the space into a mini toy store, and parents can come in and select the items for their children, he said.

Christian Center will also work to keep things sanitized throughout the event.

“We are making things as safe as we can,” Harter said. “We will spread out the tables and monitor the number of people who will come through.”

This model is based on last year’s Operation Hope, according to Harter.

“Last year we scheduled the toy store over three days to give people plenty of time and space to come in and pick out the toys,” he said. “We allowed two families in at a time, and everyone wore masks.”

The changes made for this year’s event were based on challenges the Christian Center faced last year, Harter said.

“We had a hard time finding volunteers who could help all three days, but we learned that we could safely allow a few more families in at a time,” he said. “So we adjusted and made it a two-day event, which would also help us schedule more volunteers.”

Summit County families can register for Operation Hope through Friday, and the Christian Center is still accepting toy and monetary donations, Harter said.

“If they want to donate toys, we have a link on our Operation Hope page on our website that provides an Amazon wish list,” he said. “Sometimes people who want to donate may not have any idea of what to buy. So this list will give them something to work with, because it is full of toys that the Christian Center of Park City has learned through feedback that kids want.”

Operation Hope has also expanded into Wasatch County over the years, Harter said.

“We actually will start this season’s Operation Hope on Saturday in Heber,” he said.

Parents living in Wasatch County who have registered for the program can swing by and pick up a gift card at Heber area schools, according to Harter.

“Based on feedback from the volunteers, and key supporters in the (Wasatch County) community, and a partnership with the Wasatch Community Foundation, we are going to give each child $75 in the form of a Visa gift card,” he said. “The gift card will give the parents maximum flexibility to buy whatever their children want. It’s like our Back 2 School Basics concept applied to Operation Hope, but instead of school supplies, they will get to buy Christmas gifts for their children.”

This year’s Operation Hope program is on track to serve 2,000 children from about 700 to 750 families, Harter said.

“In addition to families in Summit and Wasatch counties, we also serve children at the Goshute Reservation,” he said. “While we don’t have the opportunity to do a toy store there, people can sponsor children who will receive multiple gifts this season.”

If people would like to specifically help the Operation Hope program for Goshute families, they can contact the Christian Center directly by calling 435-649-2260.

Operation Hope is Harter’s favorite program provided by the Christian Center.

“I think it’s because the spirit of the season, hope, is something we all need, even now more than ever,” he said. “By providing an opportunity where parents can have a little extra help during the holiday season goes a long way to let them know they are not alone.”

In addition, Harter feels Operation Hope brings donors together.

“Whether they are donating toys, donating financially or volunteering, we’re all pitching in together, and that gets us into the holiday spirit,” he said. “I’m always blown away by the generosity of our community, and I would like to thank the community who, every year, has stepped up to support this program.”

Operation Hope Summit County

When: Dec. 14-15

Where: Christian Center of Park City, 1283 Deer Valley Drive

Phone: 435-649-2260


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