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Fell Hall Call to Action launches Operation Santa campaign

image of operation santa

Students pack stockings for the military with Operation Santa at Illinois State University. Image from WMBD TV.

The Fell Hall Call to Action operates on a simple concept: Engage COM students to become active, serving citizens of their community by giving back to American troops during the holiday season.

Currently, the Fell Hall Call to Action is partnered with Operation Santa based out of Bloomington, which is co-sponsored by Citizen Support for America’s Military. As of late, Patricia Franz ( Administrative Clerk for the School of Communication, has overseen the Fell Hall Call to Action with the help of graduate students. This year Colleen O’Leary ( and Daisy Hoang ( are the leaders of Operation Santa.

The Fell Hall Call to Action provides students with an opportunity to help soldiers deployed during the holiday season. This service-learning project affords students the chance to increase their awareness of community needs as well as understand the potential positive impact that they can have outside of their immediate community. All of the collected items will be used to stuff stockings for deployed troops during the holiday season.

Collection boxes will be placed throughout Fell Hall for faculty/students/staff to place donations. We will be asking for donations from local businesses/groups (Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Sunshine Rotary, Normal Rotary, Country Financial, Dental Groups, Hotels, Motels, and State Farm Insurance) to purchase additional items as well as to make monetary donations to the Operation Santa organization, which will help with postage costs.

This year University High, Normal Community, and Normal Community West high schools have committed to having one or more military nights at their football games.

As of last year, the School of Communication, College of Academic Advisement, Disability Concerns, Financial Aid, College of Arts and Sciences Office, and International Studies donated items to the soldiers. Each year Illinois State University becomes more involved.

On September 11, 2001, America was attacked. Our heroes have been deployed overseas for over 14 years. As long as they are over there, we are over here supporting them. Operation Santa 2015 is now underway. Our goal this year is to sew, stuff, pack and ship 10,000 handmade Christmas stockings to the men, women, and K-9 units serving our country overseas. Our only mission is to give the troops a little gift of holiday cheer and comfort while reminding them that their service is appreciated and not forgotten.

To mark our 10th Anniversary, Operation Santa is embarking on a mission to “Remember the 11th”by collecting 150,000 travel size stuffers to fill 10,000 stockings. We need your help to make this happen.

We need your dept./school/organization/group to ask your family, friends, and associates to donate travel size items to Operation Santa and bring them to us at Illinois State University, Fell Hall Lobby, or 450 Wiley Drive, Bloomington, IL. We will also be at both Bloomington/Normal Walmart locations on Sunday, September 13th from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. We will also be selling cards for a $1.00 each/$10.00 a box to send to soldiers, on Wednesday, Oct. 7th, 14th, and 21st. All proceeds from the cards will go towards our shipping expenses, which was over $23,000.00 last year.

Items can also be dropped off beginning Sept. 11th at Headquarters Fire Station in Peoria, or any Bloomington/Normal fire station. Donations can also be dropped off at WMBD, WJBC, Peoria Area Red Cross, or Brad Barker Honda. Let’s make this happen!