Operation ELF Collecting Donations for Military Families

Organizers are looking for donations of unwrapped toys, gift cards for grocery and department stores, seasonal services like snow removal and home maintenance, and monetary contributions.

The 18th annual Operation ELF promotion kicked off Monday, and they are looking for donations to help ease the financial stresses military families face because of the call to active duty.

Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz and the Connecticut National Guard launched this year's program. There are more than 500 Connecticut National Guardsmen in the deployment cycle and hundreds of other Connecticut residents serving in other branches of the Armed Forces. Operation ELF is a way to give back to those families and support those who have family overseas during the holidays.

Organizers are looking for unwrapped toys, gift cards for grocery and department stores, seasonal services like snow removal and home maintenance, and monetary contributions.

There is also an Adopt-A-Family program, where potential donors are matched with a family in need to provide things like winter clothing, food, help with household expenses and gifts for children.

“Each year, Operation ELF provides the generous citizens of our great state an opportunity to show their support of our men and women in uniform and their families, especially those who are deployed during the holidays” Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz said in a statement. “These donations will go a long way in supporting those whose commitment to our country has provided a priceless service. I thank the Connecticut National Guard for their work organizing this donation drive each and every year, and I encourage everyone to give what they can to help those who have given so much to our state and our country.”

Operation ELF kicks off during the holidays, but donations can help support military families throughout the year.

“The holidays are a time to be spent with family, friends, and loved ones,” Maj. Gen. Francis Evon, the Adjutant General, said. “However, some families will be missing a deployed service member this holiday season, and with that comes the added challenges of taking care of households and families back at home so a Guardsman can focus on his or her duty. This is our way of giving back, saying thank you to military families for their sacrifices that support or service members, and hopefully taking just a little bit of that holiday stress off their shoulders.”

Donations may be dropped off at one of the following six drop-off locations between 8 a.m. and 40 p.m. On December 10, the final day of the drop-off period, the William A. O'Neill Armory will host extended hours for drop-offs from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Army Aviation Support Facility
Bradley International Airport
85-300 Light Lane (off Route 75)
Windsor Locks, CT 06096

William A. O'Neill Armory
360 Broad Street
Hartford, CT 06105

Armed Forces Reserve Center
90 Wooster Heights Road
Danbury, CT 06702

New London Armory
249 Bayonet Street
New London, CT 06320

Niantic Readiness Center
38 Smith Street
Niantic, CT 06357

Bradley Air National Guard Base
100 Nicholson Road
East Granby, CT 06026

Gift cards and financial contributions can be mailed at any time. For gift cards:

Connecticut National Guard
Office of Family Programs
360 Broad Street
Hartford, CT 06105

For financial donations, make checks payable to the Connecticut National Guard Foundation and note "Operation ELF" in the memo line.

Connecticut National Guard Foundation, Inc.
360 Broad Street
Hartford, CT 06105

Please include your name, address and phone number with your donation.

For more information on Operation ELF, call 800-858-2677 or visit the website, the Operation ELF Facebook page, or the Connecticut National Guard Facebook Page.

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