WARWICK, R.I. – Lt. Governor Dan McKee was joined by Warwick Mayor Joseph Solomon, Major General Christopher Callahan of the Rhode Island National Guard and a host of corporate and community sponsors to launch the 17th Operation Holiday Cheer.
Operation Holiday Cheer is a seasonal initiative to ship care packages to Rhode Island service men and women who are away from home during the holidays. Each year, contributions are collected from across the state and hundreds of volunteers assemble packages for shipment on a single weekend in November.
Last year, Lt. Governor McKee launched a partnership to distribute excess care packages to local veterans through Operation Stand Down Rhode Island, a non-profit dedicated to helping veterans with housing, employment and education. The partnership was sparked by a decrease in the number of Rhode Island deployments. Due to continued low deployment numbers, Operation Holiday Cheer will distribute approximately 300 care packages to both veterans and deployed troops this holiday season.
"Operation Holiday Cheer brings Rhode Islanders together and leaves volunteers feeling like family by the end of care package assembly weekend. From large companies to local girl scout troops, everyone has a role to play in spreading cheer to members of the military and our local veterans," said Lt. Governor McKee.
Donations of care package items will be accepted and sorted at the National Guard Armory at 541 Airport Road in Warwick on Saturday, November 16 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Volunteers will assemble packages on Sunday, November 17 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., also at the Armory. To see the Troops' Wish List, make a monetary donation, or volunteer, visit www.ltgov.ri.gov/ohc.
The Lt. Governor's Office is still accepting names and addresses of deployed troops from the public. To ensure your loved one receives a care package, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call (401) 222-2371.
Operation Holiday Cheer is organized by the Office of the Lieutenant Governor in partnership with the Rhode Island National Guard's Family Assistance Center, the U.S. Postal Service and the Rhode Island chapter of the American Red Cross.
This program relies on the generosity of individuals and corporate and community sponsors. This year's supporters include AAA Northeast, American Red Cross RI Chapter, Amica Mutual Insurance Company, Ann & Hope, BankNewport, BankRI, Blue Star Moms, City of Warwick, CVS Health, Dave's Marketplace, Dels Lemonade, Dunkin' Donuts, Finlay Extracts & Ingredients, General Dynamics Electric Boat, Girl Scouts of Southeastern New England, Hasbro, The Home Depot, iHeartMedia, Local 57 Operating Engineers, National Association of Letter Carriers, National Association of Postal Supervisors – Branch 105, The National Grid, Navigant Credit Union, The New England Patriots, The Pawtucket Red Sox, Rhode Island Resource Recovery, Saddlebags for Soldiers, Stop & Shop and the U.S. Postal Service.