Last holiday season, LaneTerralever searched for a way to spread the holiday cheer and give back to the community that had been so good to us. The end result was the creation of the Arizona edition of Operation: Social Santa, a social-media driven toy drive and happy hour.
After such a successful inaugural year, LaneTerralever hosted the second Operation: Social Santa in Arizona on December 5 at the Handlebar Tempe. Using the power of social media to spread the word, we reached out and asked local digital and social media professionals to join us in networking and celebrating the holidays. The price of admission for the event was at least one toy to be donated to Arizona Toys for Tots.
On the night of the event, professionals from across the Valley filled the back patio of Handlebar. The group mingled with both new and familiar faces and cheered to another successful year.
This year, the Arizona edition of Operation: Social Santa raised more than 150 toys. Attendees also donated money to benefit Toys for Tots, which totaled over $200 by the end of the event.
Participants received raffle tickets for every toy or cash donation to Toys for Tots. The lucky winners received great prizes, ranging from jerseys to cab ride credits. Special thanks to Boots, the Phoenix Coyotoes, Lucky Strike, AMC Theatres, Marjerle’s Sports Grill, Uber, the Phoenix Suns, the Arizona Diamondbacks, Fox Sports Arizona and CBS Outdoor for donating prizes. We would also like to thank Double Dutch & Co for helping us organize the event and the Handlebar Tempe for donating their space for a second year in a row, and Acme Photography for the amazing event photography.
For those of you that are unfamiliar with Operation: Social Santa, it is a toy drive designed for social media-driven communities, using the Internet to create a collaborative effort to make a difference. Founded in 2010 by social entrepreneur Harrison Kratz, the event is dedicated to bringing the gift of the holidays to less fortunate children around the world. These toy drives consist of happy hours or “tweet-ups”.
To date, Operation: Social Santa has collected over 11,000 toys and over $10,000 for local charities thanks to over 75 events across the country.