Roberts and a host of community and corporate sponsors launch the initiative to send care packages to service men and women stationed overseas; the successful program in its seventh year will reach more than 500 troops with help from the public
PROVIDENCE—Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts launched Operation Holiday Cheer 2009 today at the National Guard Command Readiness Center in Cranston. The program sends care packages to all Rhode Island troops stationed overseas during the holiday months. Roberts and the commanding General of the Rhode Island National Guard, Major General Robert T. Bray asked the public for support in the month-long effort to amass gift items and cash to pay for postage.
"When our troops are sent overseas it should be our mission to support them and their families," Roberts said. "Operation Holiday Cheer is one way we can show our appreciation for these men and women and provide them with some comforts from home. We know every day away from family and friends is difficult, but it is especially hard during the holiday season. These care packages are the least we can do to show our thanks and remember the troops' continued service to our nation."
Roberts and Bray were joined at the 2009 inaugural event by a host of corporate and community sponsors including: AAA of Southern New England, the American Red Cross Rhode Island Chapter, American Speedy Printing, Amica Insurance, Autocrat Coffee, Bank of America, the Boston Celtics, CVS Caremark, Dunkin' Donuts, Hasbro, Home Depot, National Grid, the New England Patriots, Ocean State Job Lot, the Providence Journal and the United States Postal Service. The program aims to serve every Rhode Island National Guard or reserve component member stationed overseas. To reach beyond just National Guard troops, Roberts and Bray are also calling on families with loved ones overseas on active duty or in the reserves to provide Operation Holiday Cheer with their names and APO addresses. Family members with active military personnel stationed overseas are urged to email firstname.lastname@example.org to include their loved ones.
Lt. Gov. Roberts announced the two most important days for Operation Holiday Cheer. On Saturday, November 14, between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., all donations will be accepted at the North Main St. Armory in Providence. The "wish list" from the troops is attached to this release. The following Saturday, November 21, volunteers will assemble the care packages and, with the help of the United States Postal Service, ship the packages overseas.
Monetary donations are also needed to pay for postage costs. Those wishing to donate can send a check to the American Red Cross Rhode Island Chapter to the attention of Operation Holiday Cheer at 105 Gano St., Providence, RI 02906. To pledge a donation, become a partner organization or for more information please visit the lieutenant governor's website at www.ltgov.state.ri.us.
Attached is a list of the requested donation items.
OPERATION HOLIDAY CHEER 2009 LIST OF ITEMS TO DONATE
· POWDERED DRINK MIX (Crystal Light, Gatorade, Del’s) · GROUND COFFEE (Dunkin Donuts, etc.) · COFFEE SYRUP · BEEF JERKY (NO PORK), SLIM JIMS · COOKIES (NO HOMEMADE) · TRAIL MIX · SUNFLOWER SEEDS, NUTS · HARD CANDY, CHEWING GUM (NO CHOCOLATES)
· SHAVING CREAM (NO AEROSOL CANS) · DENTAL HYGIENE PRODUCTS · FOOT POWDER · DEODORANT (NO AEROSOL CANS) · SUNSCREEN · HAND SANITIZER · MOIST TOWLETTES, BABY WIPES
· DVD’S (movie, tv series sets) (NO VHS) · MUSIC CD’S (all types) · BOOKS (NO RELIGIOUS CONTENT) · BATTERIES: (AA & AAA) · HEAD LAMPS, WITH HEAD BANDS FOR READING AT NIGHT · SUNGLASSES · GAMES, PLAYING CARDS · BASEBALLS, SOFTBALLS AND GLOVES (gloves do not have to be new) · WHITE SOCKS (NO LOGO)