Operation Hope has been serving Carlsbad residents for the past 20 years. It started out as a Girl Scout Gold Award Project and evolved into a large-scale community project helping various residents in need in different aspects throughout the year. Terri Judah, Kindergarten teacher and director for Operation Hope said they expect to assist between 350-400 families this year. “That first year we made 19 baskets and have grown to over 350 each year. 3 years ago it changed from Girl Scouts to Operation Hope which is a service organization started by myself and several teachers to help those less fortunate in our community. Operation Hope not only does the food drive but helps people in our community throughout the year with household items, clothing, food and other various needs a family may have,” Judah shared. “This program is very near and dear to my heart. I have been with this project from the start in 2001, and have watched it grow (and grown with it) each year. Our first year we were SO proud to create 19 baskets for local families.. And now we reach over 400 families each year. Seeing the impact it makes on our community every year is truly the most heartwarming experience, and something I am beyond blessed to be a part of,” shared Tori Judah,Terri’s daughter on the organization's Facebook page. “This year, due to COVID restrictions, we are allowed to provide baskets, but are unable to collect donations at our local grocery stores. This is our primary form of collections, and without it, there's a large chance we will not be able to provide enough Thanksgiving Baskets this year. We’ve decided to set up a GoFundMe in order to collect monetary donations, and will be collecting non-perishable donations via Carlsbad Public Schools, and other local donation locations,” stated Tori. Operation Hope was still able to assist families during 2020, but they had to give out gift cards and turkey certificates instead of the food baskets. “It was a huge blessing in itself that we were allowed to still give back to them, but just didn’t feel the same as creating baskets as we have each year,” Tori said. XTO is a sponsor for the food drive, collecting food, picking up the food from the schools, and volunteering to help make the baskets. “XTO is amazing and we couldn’t do this without help from the Boys & Girls Club,” beamed Judah. The Boys & Girls Club of Carlsbad is a community partner with the food drive. Baskets will be assembled in the back gym at the club on November 19th and 20th. “We are honored to continue the partnership between the Boys & Girls Club of Carlsbad and Operation Hope. It is a privilege to be a small part of Ms. Judah’s mission to provide families with the necessities for healthy
meals, throughout the Thanksgiving week,” shared Ekta Bhakta Patel, Chief Executive Officer at the Boys & Girls Club of Carlsbad.If you or someone you know would benefit from a Thanksgiving food basket please call Mrs. Judah at 575-361-5261, and leave a voicemail with the name of the family member receivingthe basket, as well as their phone number, whether they will require a delivery, and the number of members in the family. “People can donate by sending money to Operation Hope 316 E Rose Carlsbad, NM 88220 or go to my (Terri Judah) facebook page or the Operation Hope facebook page where there is a GoFundMe!” shared Judah. All businesses, community members, and organizations are invited to participate in some way with the food drive. Volunteer to assemble or deliver baskets, donate money to purchase food needed, or collect non-perishable food at your place of business to be picked up on November 19th (call Terri Judah to schedule). Volunteers are needed on Friday November 19th from 3-7 pm at the Boys & Girls Club to sort food, and again at the club Saturday November 20th from 7-11 am to hand out baskets or deliver to those families that have no transportation.