Editor’s note: This story has been updated with new times provided by Operation Holiday.

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — A program that has helped Sedgwick County families through the holidays for over 60 years has kicked off its 2023 season.

Operation Holiday is the region’s largest holiday assistance program. Between 12,000 and 15,000 people use the HumanKind Ministries program every year.

“Last year, we served a record 8,000 children through Operation Holiday, and we anticipate the same need this year,” LaTasha St. Arnault, HumanKind president and CEO, said in a news release. “It’s important that the children in our community have their basic needs met during the cold winter season, and that starts with something as simple as a coat or blanket.”

Operation Holiday relies on donations from the community. In addition to children’s coats and blankets, it needs fresh and non-perishable food. HumanKind has a long-standing partnership with Toys for Tots, which has its largest toy distribution in Wichita during Operation Holiday distribution.

To apply

Applications are open to anyone in Sedgwick County who needs assistance to get through the holiday season and meets eligibility criteria. Apply from now until Nov. 30 at OperationHoliday.org or call 316-777-6097, Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

There are also places to apply in person. Click here for the list of locations.

More information, including eligibility requirements and application site locations, can be found at OperationHoliday.org.

Operation Holiday distribution is scheduled for Dec. 12-16 in the former Central Library, 223 S. Main. Applicants choose a time slot for pick-up when they apply.

To help

HumanKind needs donations for this year’s Operation Holiday to succeed.

Businesses and organizations can help by hosting collection drives. Boxes are available at HumanKind’s administration office, 829 N. Market. The office is open Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to noon. Or call 316-264-9303 to ask for a box to be delivered to your location.

Operation Holiday Wishlist:

  • New or like-new children’s coats (all sizes)
  • New or handmade blankets
  • Non-perishable foods
  • New or handmade winter hats, gloves and scarves
  • Bath & Body Works matching body wash and lotions (men’s and women’s)
  • Money so HumanKind can purchase in bulk at lower prices

Donations of any items on HumanKind’s Operation Holiday wish list can be made at HumanKind’s administration office, 829 N. Market, Monday-Thursday, 8:30 to 5:00 and Friday, 8:30a to noon.

From now through Dec. 16, donations can be taken to the Operation Holiday warehouse in the former Central Library, 223 S. Main, Monday-Friday, 9:00-5:00 and Saturday, 9:00 to noon.

You can also drop donations in specially marked boxes at area Dillons’ stores.

“Monetary gifts can often go further as they enable us to purchase items in bulk at discounted prices,” St. Arnault said. “They also support our winter services, such as our seasonal men’s and women’s shelters.”