About Operation Santa

Joint Forces Military Family Carnival

What is Operation Santa?

For the past ten years, Operation Santa has become an emblem of festive joy, ensuring that our local military families feel the support of our community. Our unique carnival extends an invitation to all currently serving military members and their immediate families (including Guard & Reserve) for a memorable day filled with games, food, and a magical visit with Santa Claus.

This year, we are anticipating 3,500+ actively serving and veteran military family members. In addition, we'll have the support of 500 civilian volunteers who will contribute thousands of man hours in preparation. Our dedication and efforts will culminate in the distribution of over ten thousand toys.

As our event has grown, we've witnessed a double to triple growth in attendance each year. With the current high deployment rate from local installations, the need for support this year promises to be even more significant. A primary mission of Operation Santa is not only to spread joy but also to involve our youth civilian community. We aim to teach the next generation the importance of recognizing and appreciating military service to our Nation. Moreover, we want them to experience the profound impact of selfless giving."


Working together with the full support of our community, to provide the Magic that creates an unforgettable experience for local military families, insuring they feel our genuine appreciation and gratitude for their sacrifices.



Our mission is for no military family to be turned away and that they leave feeling the love our community and the Magic of Christmas. Our mission is also to teach the next generation of civilian children to be proud of our country, to appreciate service to our Nation and to experience the joy of selfless giving.

How We Do It

Operation Santa is organized and run by the members of the 3 Rivers Wealth Management Bridges Kids Club, a dedicated group of young volunteers ranging in age from 5-22, and their parents. The goal of the Bridges Kids Club is to teach the next generation to value and appreciate military service to our Nation. The Club supports military families through various projects all year long.

Bridges Kids Club Families spend weeks setting the event up and coordinating over a thousand individual military kids Santa wishlists. Members are can choose to adopt a military child’s Santa List attending the event. They learn about the child's wishes and work hard, doing chores and tasks, to earn money to purchase a gift from the child’s Santa wishlist. The true magic happens when these gifts are given to military families. Each civilian “elf’ gift giver and military family receiver is tagged with a matching number, ensuring that of the Kids Club member is volunteering when the military child visits Santa, their civilian “elf” witnesses the joy they've helped to create.

The Bridges Kids Club & Operation Santa is about more than just giving; it’s about understanding, empathizing, showing genuine appreciation for military service, forming connections that can last a lifetime and experiencing the joy of selfless giving.

The Bridges Kids Club was founded & funded by the Hilbert Family and is supported by 3 Rivers Wealth Management Group, Pittsburgh Bridges not for profit corporation in partnership with local 501c3 Heroes Supporting Heroes.

Experience the magic

for yourself!

Hear firsthand how our military Christmas carnival touched this family's heart.