For the Observer-Dispatch’s Operation Sunshine program, giving back to the community is just as important as asking for help.

Every winter, Operation Sunshine commits to raising $65,000 to provide food and toys for local families who might otherwise be unable to afford them during the holiday season.

Operation Sunshine was at the fifth annual Harvest on the Hill celebration in Utica on Saturday handing out candy and other goodies to children.

"I'm very excited to be handing out candy for Harvest on the Hill," said Katie Giacovelli, marketing and events manager for the Observer-Dispatch. "Cornhill Cares has done such a great job showcasing positive change throughout the neighborhood. As a person who grew up in Cornhill, being here with Operation Sunshine gives me the opportunity to give back to the community that raised me.”

The 2019 winter Operation Sunshine campaign will fund the following nonprofit organizations: Catholic Charities of Herkimer County; Catholic Charities of Oneida/Madison Counties; Neighborhood Center; Rescue Mission of Utica; Salvation Army of Utica; and the Salvation Army of Rome.

Visit www.opsun.org for more details.