EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — For the seventh year in a row, Operation 2540 has been collecting toys and non-perishables to give an unforgettable Christmas to orphans in Juarez.
Elijah Molinar, president and founder of Operation 2540, said they had to adapt this year but they never thought about stopping the action.
“These kids have no parents and we’re passionate about this,” said Molinar. “We believe that these kids deserve Christmas the way we give it to our kids and this year should be no different.”
He started the organization with his nursing school colleagues back when he was still a student. He said that they were struggling financially but still felt the need to give back.
“I remember printing a google map picture of Juarez with several orphanages marked on it. I traced out what I considered to be the safest and fastest route,” remembered Molinar. “The plan was to drive from orphanage to orphanage, only to stop and kick several soccer balls over the fences of the orphanage to the kids and then run.”
They started to get more donations, he said, from people who wanted to donate directly or through smaller organizations like his, knowing the money and gifts will go into the right hands.
Now they collect Christmas gifts and non-perishables to help these children, but they expanded their work to handing out meals to the homeless as well.
This year they partnered up with several local businesses and organizations that helped them collect the donations.
They are asking El Pasoans to donate clothes and gifts that are worth up to $45.
You can drop off your donations at Ay Cocula off Lee Trevino, Texano restaurant off Pendale Road and Hyatt Hotel by the airport.
You can also make donations to their GoFundMe campaign.
So far, they have reached their desired goal of getting 2 outfits and 6 or more toys for each of 43 children living in the orphanage, but their efforts still continue to make these holidays much brighter for these children.