UC San Diego News Center


‘Operation Santa’ Lends Helping Hand to Families in Need this Holiday Season

The spirit of volunteerism is alive in members of UC San Diego’s Alpha Phi Omega, a coed fraternity dedicated to community service and leadership.

Students at the University of California, San Diego are giving back this holiday season with “Operation Santa,” an annual fundraising effort dedicated to helping families in need all over San Diego Couånty.  “Operation Santa” is a project of UC San Diego’s service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega. 

 “Operation Santa” is expected to have a record number of families nominated to receive help this holiday season, due to the co-ed fraternity’s outreach initiatives and because of the economic crisis.
 “This year, it’s more critical than ever to help those in need. We have already received many nominations for families who are suffering from the tough economy,” said Alpha Phi Omega organizer, Miller Huang. “We can really see the positive impact of our work on these families when we deliver the gifts in person.  I was fortunate enough to believe in Santa Claus and to have something to open on Christmas day during my childhood.  I want to help as many kids as possible get the same experience.”

 Many of the “Operation Santa” families the fraternity helps are led by single mothers, including mothers who are victims of domestic violence, facing illness, experiencing the loss of a family member and others who are struggling financially.

 Alpha Phi Omega will be accepting nominations for families until Nov. 13th. The fraternity is striving to raise funds so that as many people as possible can be selected to receive help from “Operation Santa.” The families selected will be provided with food and gifts in time for the holidays.

 “Operation Santa” was established five years ago and has benefited the San Diego community in many ways. Through the project, Alpha Phi Omega organizes fundraisers, including working concessions at Qualcomm Stadium and wrapping gifts at Barnes & Noble.

 The organization is partnering with other UC San Diego groups including the Pre-Medical Association of Students for Service, Alpha Kappa Psi, the Women and Children Care Initiative, Health and Medical Professions Preparation Program, American Medical Student Association and resident advisors from Eleanor Roosevelt College.

 With the difficult economy, “Operation Santa” is still looking for donations of money and gifts. The organization will hold donation drives at the following events:

  • Nov. 10–California Pizza Kitchen in La Jolla will host a day-long fundraiser with 20 percent of patrons’ bills going towards “Operation Santa.”
  • Nov. 12.––From11 4 p.m., “Operation Santa” will host a donation drive at parking lot 406 on the UC San Diego campus. In the event of rain, the drive will take place on the first floor of the Gilman parking structure.

 Alpha Phi Omega is one of many UC San Diego service oriented student organizations. UC San Diego has more than 568 student organizations, with a total of 18,528 students engaged in a form of community service. For the past two years, the university has been recognized by Washington Monthly as the nation’s top college in rankings measuring “what colleges are doing for the country.”
 For more information on “Operation Santa” or make a donation, please contact or visit their website at

Media Contact

Christine Clark, 858-534-7618 or

UC San Diego’s Studio Ten 300 offers radio and television connections for media interviews with our faculty, which can be coordinated via .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). To connect with a UC San Diego faculty expert on relevant issues and trending news stories, visit