A holiday store was set up at the Fluor Corporation in Aliso Viejo on December 14. From 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Aliso Viejo members of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Capistrano Valley (BGCCV) went shopping. All of the children were participants in the 7th annual Operation Holiday Homework.
“Operation Holiday Homework started as an incentive plan to encourage youth to make education a priority,” said Nicole Watson, area director for BGCCV.
From 2:40 p.m. to 3:40 p.m., every Monday through Thursday, all of the club members participate in Power Hour, an hour of homework. “At the end of the Power Hour time, each member who did their homework and stayed on task receives two power hour points,” said Watson.
Before the day of shopping, the points for each member are tallied to determine the order of entry to the holiday store. The member with the highest number of points enters first.
This year’s store was filled with nearly 1000 gifts donated by individuals, organizations and groups. Bicycles and helmets were provided by the Fluor Corporation.
The volunteers at the event were from the BGCCV, the Fluor Corporation, and the community. Mayor Carmen Cave and city councilmen Ross Chun, Mike Munzing and Phil Tsunoda also assisted with the festivities.
Volunteer shoppers helped the children select gifts for their immediate family members and for themselves. When each child finished shopping, volunteers wrapped their presents. The final stop was a visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus.
“The most rewarding part of the program is to see the members so excited about giving to their families,” said Watson. “The members feel proud that they did their homework and know that they get to give to their families.”
Watson said Operation Holiday Homework is a successful program. “The members start to learn that with positive decisions and hard work, good things happen,” she said.