A Fund of

The Paso del Norte Community Foundation is pleased to welcome Operation Noel as a fund under our umbrella - dedicated to providing grants to nonprofit organizations as they work to meet the most basic needs of children in our region -- toddlers through age 12.

The Foundation extends its sincere thanks to Mayor Dee Margo, KVIA, Mattress Firm, and the dedicated Operation Noel Board of Directors for their decades of generosity, leadership and service in providing coats for kids throughout the community, and working with the Foundation to transition Operation Noel from a direct service organization to a grantmaking fund.

Your tax-deductible contribution to the Operation Noel Fund in the Paso del Norte Community Foundation will carry on Operation Noel's important legacy of service - serving children in need since its origins over 84 years ago.

Questions about grants or contributions? Contact the Foundation at [email protected] or 915-218-2646.

The History of Operation Noel

In 1939, Ruth Pooley, the wife of the Herald Post Editor, saw that a local jeans manufacturer had a Little Boys fund that provided new jeans for disadvantaged boys. She decided girls needed to be helped as well, so she began The Little Girls Dress Fund, asking readers to bring in new dresses or send in donations.

When enough money was raised, she would buy new dresses for these little girls at the Popular Dry Goods Company.  This practice continued until the early 1980’s when a Herald Post Reporter took over the project.

The name was changed to Operation Noel and included both boys and girls.  The focus was changed to sweatsuits and jeans.  Several agencies were involved by that time and more than 3,000 children were helped.

The idea behind Operation Noel changed again when organizers learned that these children did not have coats to wear in the winter because their families couldn’t afford them.  The organizers contracted a local apparel company in El Paso, who contracted a supplier to produce coats specifically for the children of Operation Noel.

More than 65 area agencies and schools select the children who are most in need of coats.  These lists of children are compiled from August through November by caseworkers and school counselors who in turn provide the lists to Operation Noel.  Each year, money raised through the efforts of HUB International Insurance Services, KVIA-TV 7, The El Paso Times, and Mattress Firm, from individual, corporate, and organizational donations, as well as the Operation Noel Telethon, went towards paying for the entire cost of coats without any administrative overhead. More than 20,000 coats were distributed in Operation Noel's operation in 2021 and 2022.

In 2023, Operation Noel transitioned from a project dedicated to distributing coats to a grantmaking organization under the Paso del Norte Community Foundation umbrella. Funds raised on an annual basis will support grants to nonprofit organizations serving low-income children - toddler to age 12 - with basic needs.


Tangible personal property. Examples may be real estate, oil, gas, or mineral interests.

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