There's a critical need out there this Christmas and it has nothing to do with toys.

Operation Sunshine, the Observer Dispatch's charitable organization that WIBX works with for the Keeler Toy Drive, was able to meet their goal for toys; but, they lack the funds needed to provide holiday meals for local families and time is running out.

"With only a few days left until Christmas, we need your help in reaching our goal," said Michele Howgate of the Observer Dispatch in an email sent this morning to WIBX.  Operation Sunshine provides financial gifts to local organizations that feed families in need during the holidays and they are currently $10,504 short of their $65,000 goal.

"We hyper-focus every year on toys and this year was exceptional," said WIBX's Bill Keeler. "It's important to remember, however, that many of these families who need toys probably need certain necessities as well."

Operation Sunshine works with five local charities that give food and clothing to needy families. They offer three different options to donate:

  • Credit card donations can be made by calling Michele Howgate at 792-5003
  • Donations can be made online at
  • Mail your donation to:  Operation Sunshine, 221 Oriskany Plaza, Utica, NY  13501

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