PHOTOS: Catholic Charities’ Operation Stocking Stuffer

Children decorate Christmas cookies at Catholic Charities of Northern Nevada's Operation Stocking Stuffer event.
Children decorate Christmas cookies at Catholic Charities of Northern Nevada’s Operation Stocking Stuffer event. Photo: Ty O’Neil

Catholic Charities of Northern Nevada (CCNN) on Sunday hosted their annual Operation Stocking Stuffer, distributing Christmas stockings stuffed with presents to 800 local children. The event also included a variety of holiday activities.

At the event families could take a photo against TapSnap’s massive green screen to receive a photo depicting the family in a North Pole toy shop, Santa and all. In the largest room kids, and sometimes their parents, played games, made ornaments, decorated Christmas cookies, wrote letters to Santa, and had their photo taken with Santa. Some of the games were donated by Circus Circus, including one of the favorites, “chicken toss.”

Before kids left they picked up their stuffed stockings. These stockings were filled with donations made by generous locals and had gifts appropriate for a variety of age ranges, from infant to 17 years old.

Matt Vaughan, director of marketing and public relations for CCNN said that in addition to the 800 stockings for children that attended the event, generosity from the community meant they had more stockings than needed for the event. The extra stockings will be sent to rural Nevada and distributed to families in need.

Families were either invited to or signed up to come to the event. Vaughan noted that the event roster had been filled in two days and the other families that registered late for this event would still receive gifts, again thanks to the donations of Reno locals.

More than 100 volunteers helped make the event possible, working everything from the kitchen to games.

While CCNN’s main goal is to help people rise above poverty, Vaughan said this event was a bonus, giving a little extra to families during the holiday season.

While I was on hand I watched as multiple parents and guardians pull volunteers aside and thank them for such a special event. Kids were smiling from ear-to-ear whether jumping between games or decorating Christmas cookies.

TapSnap photo booth (1)
TapSnap photo booth (2)
z Catholic (4 of 16)
Photos with Santa (2)
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Letters to Santa
Cookies (1)
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z Catholic (10 of 16)
Cookies (3)
z Catholic (12 of 16)
Photos with Santa (3)
Stockings (1)
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Ty O'Neil
About Ty O'Neil 208 Articles
Ty O’Neil is a lifelong student of anthropology with two degrees in the arts. He is far more at home in the tear gas filled streets of war torn countries than he is relaxing at home. He has found a place at ThisisReno as a photojournalist. He hopes to someday be a conflict photojournalist covering wars and natural disasters abroad