Operation Elf Box

Josh Hart

We are in Bend, OR and our host is Josh Hart, of Operation Elf Box. We met Josh via Facebook three years ago. Josh is a fellow muso, connected in the blues and jam band scene.  He’s a mover and has the energy and drive of a team of people. Inspired by his giving spirit and fortitude to care for his community we reached out and asked if we could be involved, share in life and help however needed. He welcomed us and put us to work! What a joy to be able to roll into a community and dive in.

The story as told by Josh;

Operation Elf BoxAbout Operation Elf Box

A few years have passed since my idea of having a Christmas party began shaping “Operation Elf Box”. Asking each guest to bring a toy, the mission was simple, a brighter Christmas for children less fortunate. A singer songwriter, I began using the stage to get the word out and the promise of toys became significant. Sharing my vision with a friend he offered me a vacant downtown Bend Oregon commercial location, (free of charge) a place he said I could “store toys”.

It didn’t take long to establish, “Elf Store”, a few dozen “Elf Boxes” making their way into local businesses collecting new unwrapped toys. Those toys make their way back to “Elf Store”, stocking the shELVES.

Partnering with area non-profits, schools and Churches, 153 families were referred that first December, meeting with each one mysELF. The second year, 405 families shopped Elf Store, 1045 children receive gifts, the community coming together supplying nearly 6,000 toys, stockings and stuffers. We serve our neighboring cities and counties with nearly 100 volunteers helping out.

“Good Faith” is our policy. Writing with color crayons, we record the first name and age of a child. No applications, we visit with each family by appointment only. Choices empower those who have few to make at this time of year; stockings, stuffers, gifts, wrapping paper, bows and gift labels in their own handwriting! Dignifying, uplifting and lots of FUN, that’s Operation Elf Box!

Operation Elf Box is a grassroots effort, making Christmas brighter for those children disadvantaged in our community. We exist by the kindness of individuals like yoursELF contributing children’s gifts and supplies. Thanks for keeping the party going.

~ Josh Hart, Resident Elf

So here we are parked in his driveway for three weeks, excited to be with our global/local neighbor. This week we’ll attend the Operation Elf Bash, 12/12/12. And, on 12/19 in Bend, and 12/20 in Salem, we’ll be sharing through song and merrymaking at the Elf Box “Celebrate” event just for women, many affected by domestic violence. These are private intimate evenings of just women “celebrating” women. Dinner, dance, Christmas gifts galore, crafts, chocolate, conversation, laughter and tears, we are so honored to be apart of these evenings.


Published by

Jana Holland

https://birdandtheoracle.wordpress.com/ https://thehollands.org

4 thoughts on “Operation Elf Box”

  1. Hi I wanted to get my kids signed up to receive Christmas help. I have a 4 year old son a 3 year old daughter and a 1 year old son. And we are living in a motor home due to that I lost my job and can’t seem to catch a break and get a job. Here is my phone number 541-771-0023


    1. Hi Jessica. We are not in the Bend area this winter, but if you visit http://operationelfbox.com there is all sorts of info on how to sign up. They are super kind folks and won’t judge.

      And, if you are open to encouragement; please know that your trails are real but through it all you are deeply loved. God is faithful even when seasons seem difficult. Lean into that love, and allow it to wash over you like a warm breeze. Begin to pay attention to the little ways that faithfulness comes to you each day and when you receive that goodness, extend it with open hands to others. Eventually you will find that you are overwhelmed with joy and boundless gifts to share with others who are downtrodden.

      Bless you sister, so that you may bless others.
      ~peace & love~


      1. Josh Hart is a sly smooth professional con artist of The Worst Type… Beware… You have been warned. He is Not who he Poses to be. Everyone who knows him well for significant periods of time Know Not to Trust this guy. You are wasting your breath & throwing away your hard earned money on a charlatan. Sincerely.


      2. Sorry you had an ill dealing with Josh. Our time with him two years ago was precious and found his charity organization to be genuine. Our blog about Operation Elf box was a reflection of our experience but we understand no one is perfect and there is always a chance of betrayal in relationships. We hope that if there is an opportunity to mend this broken relationship that you will pursue that option, taking into consideration the complexity of the journey and how God continues to change hearts. We understand that seeking an audience with Josh to share your feelings may not resolve anything and in that case we share in your pain. However, it may also lead to healing and that would be our greatest hope.


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