TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -

State child welfare officials are looking to connect struggling families with residents and businesses who can give them a hand this holiday season.

The Department of Children and Families launched Operation Santa Cause this week to help 12 needy families, including a car for two former foster kids who need a car, a disabled adult who needs help with yard work and a home for a Leon County family.

The agency helps coordinate public assistance for nearly 5 million Floridians.

Secretary David Wilkins said it's exciting to see communities helping their neighbors.

DCF also created Partners for Promise one year ago. The initiative is working with more than 1,550 local organizations to match up businesses and organization to help provide everything from tutoring to mentoring to donations for needy families.