ST. ALBANS — Tis the season to give.

Operation Happiness, Franklin and Grand Isle counties signature holiday charity, is in need of food, toys, hats and mittens.

Each year Operation Happiness, provides more than 1,000 area families with a box of food for the holidays. Parents are able to select a toy for each of their children to take home and put under the tree. Operation Happiness also provides gloves, hats and mittens for any of the families that need them.

But this year, donations are not enough to meet the need.

MVU students

The Missisquoi Valley Union students pictured here have raised $1,500 for Operation Happiness and used those funds to purchase gifts for teens assisted by Operation Happiness.

Operation Happiness will be holding a donation drive this weekend at the Highgate Shopping Plaza in the location of the former Yankee $1 Store. Donations will be accepted from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Donations are also accepted on Tuesdays at the United Way building at 48 Lower Newton Street. To arrange another time to make a donation, contact Paul Chapman at

Cash donations, which are used to purchase gifts for teens and other items, are also welcome. They may be mailed to Operation Happiness care of United Way of Northwestern Vermont, P.O. Box 387 St. Albans, VT 05478.

Other opportunities to help include the Stocking Project at the St. Albans Free Library and Hannaford’s Give a Meal boxes.

The Stocking Project lets area residents purchase gifts for children and teens in state custody. Simply select a “stocking,” actually a Christmas card, listing the wishes of a child, from the display at the library. Then purchase some of the items and bring them to the library, along with the card.

Give a Meal boxes, also known as Helping Hands boxes, may be purchased at any area Hannaford store. The boxes will go to the food shelf in that community. Boxes purchased in St. Albans go to NorthWest Family Foods, which provides food to families in need throughout Franklin and Grand Isle counties.