“There is a fun and very worthwhile community service program that our school runs every year. It’s called ‘Operation Warm & Fuzzy’ and this year [2010] is the 10th year that our school has sponsored this program. The goal of Operation Warm & Fuzzy is to warm the hearts and spirits of children who may be cold, lonely, or forgotten as the holidays approach and the weather turns cold (we’re located in suburban Chicago).

“During the first week of December, the children are asked to bring in a blanket sleeper (the kind with feet and a zipper) and a small stuffed animal (the size of a Beanie Baby). These are placed in collection boxes in each classroom. At the end of the week, the ‘goodies’ are sorted and packed for distribution under the direction of Mrs. Cathy Sisto, one of our resource teachers. The sleepers and stuffed animals are then sent to several local women’s and children’s shelters in the area. Over the past nine years, we have collected sleepers and stuffed animals for over 4,500 children and hope to top the 5,000 mark this year.”

Carolyn Heimbach, St. Anne School Home and School Association, Barrington, Ill.