Yolandra John is a Flight Attendant who has been inspired so much so by a US Air Force Christmas tradition that she is putting her local touch to it, all in an effort to spread love and joy for the holidays. Even as the COVID-19 pandemic caused the airline industry to nose dive, John is not aborting Operation Christmas Drive.
During an interview with Guardian Media Limited, John explained why she is determined to spread the heartwarming happiness of the humanitarian act.
“What about the less fortunate, the ones whose families working for a low income and now no longer employed, you have to go out and help, t’is the season to be jolly,” said John.
Operation Christmas Drop is a tradition that started in 1952 that serves as a training mission for the US Air Force.
It was the inspiration behind a recent Netflix movie.
Decades ago the crew of an aircraft assigned to Andersen Air Force Base in Guam, was flying a mission to the south of Guam over the Micronesian atoll of when they saw the islanders waving to them, the crew quickly gathered some items they had on the plane, placed them in a container with a parachute attached and dropped the cargo as they circled again.
Instead of bracing for a bleak Christmas compounded by the pandemic, John has commenced Operation Christmas drop.
But instead of parachuting down presents, Santa and his helpers will be delivering presents and more to the neediest in the Point Fortin community.
“It’s more like a Christmas drive and we’ll be carolling with families, there are families who never experience that, so it’s all about bringing joy to families on Christmas day and not prior.”
At the heart of John’s mission- to deliver key items wrapped within shoe boxes to girls and young women who she believes have been left most vulnerable by COVID-19.
“It’s also a very eco-friendly initiative, I want to particularly place special items in the shoeboxes for girls and young women, I will also be putting notes to inspire and encourage them as well.”
Despite being temporarily laid off as a result of the pandemic and forced to adjust to the economic fallout, John’s selfless Christmas labour of love has already made her mission a success.
She is now hopeful that in order to assist many more in the community, others will join in on the spirit of giving and help Operation Christmas Drop brighten the holidays for those less fortunate.