SAN LUIS OBISPO — Each year, the San Luis Obispo County Department of Social Services hosts a program called Operation Santa. This program fulfills wishes from local children from low- and moderate-income families, foster children, and seniors in San Luis Obispo County.

The families are participants in various programs within the Department of Social Services, including Foster Care, Homeless Services, Child Welfare Services, CalWORKs, Food Stamps and Adult Protective Services. Operation Santa helps fulfill wishes for children who might otherwise receive nothing for Christmas.

“While we focus much of our effort to fill holiday wishes, this program is available throughout the year to help our families,” Department of Social Services officials stated. “We provide backpacks and school supplies, socks, Easter baskets, gift cards, books and toys. We work to ensure our vulnerable senior population receives items they may need but not have the resources to purchase themselves. This program is 100% dependent on donations from the community.”

The program fills approximately 1,000 wishes annually during the holidays and more throughout the year with the help of community members and local community partners.


Last year, the program provided clothing such as coats, shoes, pants, shirts, undergarments, PJs, baby clothes and socks.

Also, the Department of Social Services filled requests for toys, art supplies, bikes, scooters, helmets, skateboards, video games, board games, Legos, remote controlled cars, educational toys, gift cards and much more.

They also provide much-needed items to the senior community. These items include toiletries, socks, kitchen items, food, magnifying glasses, gift cards, and other useful items for our Adult Protective Services program clients.