COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A military family in Columbus is getting a boost from a nonprofit organization in Gwinnett County. Its goal is to make sure children of wounded or fallen service members have something special under their Christmas tree.
It's an especially important endeavor over the holidays, and Operation One Voice is playing Santa to hundreds of kids across the country.
Through one of their annual programs, more than $2,500 will go to families of wounded soldiers so they can buy special gifts for their children.
During the holiday season, Operation One Voice uses their program called Operation Saint Nick to play 'Silent Santa' for families.
"We don't want the children to know who we are. We're just citizens in the community that supports their Christmas," said Lt. Bill Stevens, Founder of Operation One Voice.
Retired Duluth fire safety officer Bill Stevens first started the nonprofit after the September 11 terror attacks.
"After 9/11, our soldiers became first responders just like we are first responders. We respond here in the communities and they respond to the nations' need around the world," said Stevens.
The $100 Walmart gift card will go to children of wounded or fallen special operation forces services members.
Kimberly Kapacziewski of Columbus says the organization has been a support system since her husband became a right leg amputee after he was injured on a deployment to Iraq 10 years ago.
"So there's definitely opportunities that my children miss out on as a result of my husband being a wounded soldier. So it's really great that Operation One Voice is thinking of them during the holidays and just giving back to them," said Kapacziewski.
Kapacziewski's husband has returned to full active duty and has been deployed six more times to combat as an amputee.
Operation Saint Nick gives the families a little extra boost for families experiencing a financial need. Because of this programs, the gift cards have helped more than 2,000 children.
"They don't make any money as far as padding their pockets. All of their funds go straight to the families. Programs like Operation St. Nick are just amazing," said Kapacziewski.
The nonprofit based in Lawrenceville, GA also supports families through their annual Warrior Weekend and Honor Ride.