To the editor — I want to thank Footprinters for its great work. Every Christmas, it provides gifts and food baskets in Yakima for children of a parent(s) incarcerated or on probation/parole. Chairman Eric Gress, who has served about 15 years, deserves special recognition for his hard work organizing the Operation Santa Claus event by contacting local agencies to obtain names, organizing the purchase and wrapping of presents for each child, putting together food baskets and making sure Santa Claus himself delivers the appropriate gift to each child.

Footprinters has served locally for over 30 years. Every year, it makes a higher goal of reaching out to as many as possible. In 2013, it suprassed its goal of 220 kids and 20 food baskets, delivering to 273 children and providing 31 food baskets. As a community corrections officer, I have worked with Eric the last four years. I have found Eric to be dedicated to this important event, which provides to these deserving children who may otherwise go without a Christmas. This year, Footprinters provided gifts for 132 children and 18 food baskets to families with parent(s) under felony supervision in the Department of Corrections.

I appreciate Eric Gress and the Footprinters for their dedication and hard work for these often overlooked children.