La Jolla’s UC San Diego fraternity prepares gifts for the needy

UC San Diego’s co-ed service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega sponsors “Operation Santa” each year to bring holiday joy to San Diego families in need — many led by single mothers as well as those who are victims of domestic violence, facing illness, experiencing the loss of a family member or are struggling financially. More than 180 families were nominated to be recipients of the service

for 2013. They will be provided with food and gifts in time for the holidays. “Student-elves” wrapped the gifts Dec. 3 at UC San Diego’s Price Center East Ballroom. The evening’s entertainment was provided by the Tritones, UCSD’s a capella group.

“Running this program is such a humbling experience,” said Kristine Duong, UCSD junior and “Operation Santa” co-chair. “Reading about the nominees and their circumstances really opens your eyes to a world you don’t see every day. There are so many people who have come on hard times, but knowing that we’ll be able to offer some type of relief this holiday is so rewarding.”

She added that for more information, including how to donate to “Operation Santa,” go to