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Spreading the

Spirit of the Holidays to Children in Need

Our Story.

Founded in 2009, Operation North Pole (ONP) is a volunteer-based public charity that provides a magical fantasy trip to the North Pole for a family with a child battling a life-threatening illness. 

This magical experience includes breakfast, a festive train ride to the North Pole, a visit with Santa, winter wonderland fun, entertainment, treats, games, "Secret Santa” Christmas gifts, and much more! 

Our goal is to provide these families with an unforgettable experience amidst the challenges they face daily.

As one volunteer said, “their ordinary is different than ours….” so for that one day, we do everything we can to change “their ordinary” and let them know that there are people in this world who care and are willing to help in their time of need.

"Operation North Pole is committed to making sure the entire family of a child with a life threatening or terminal illness is able to participate, with the overall goal of providing a brief respite from the emotional and financial stresses that affect the whole family."

Our Mission.

Our primary mission has always been focused on helping seriously and terminally ill children and their families during the holiday season. 

We provide these families with one day of relief from the continuous emotional and financial stress that goes hand in hand with the roller coaster battle to save the life of a child. 

In addition to the annual Winter Wonderland event, we have expanded our mission in the care of children: 

  • We have distributed over 20,000 new winter coats to children and schools throughout the Chicago suburbs with the assistance of local Fire and Police Departments and in association with Operation Warm.

  • We host blood drives in partnership with Vitalant Blood Services, formerly LifeSource.

  • We continue to support numerous charitable missions and visions.

We are Operation North Pole and we want to use our growing platform to engage and empower the community to give and serve all year round!

Our Trains.

A pivotal part of the Operation North Pole experience is the train ride to the North Pole to visit Santa!

Metra has safely and efficiently transported our special guests to the North Pole via the Union Pacific Northwest Line. Without their support and commitment to the community, Operation North Pole would not be able to recreate this wonderful day for our families every year.


Want to get involved? 

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