Launch of the 21st Operation Elf to support military families in CT
The program raises money for families through gift card donations and has awarded $47,000 in need-based grants to members and $14,000 in scholarships.
HARTFORD, Conn. — Connecticut service members and their families will receive financial assistance this holiday season with the start of the 21st annual Operation ELF, Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz and the Connecticut National Guard announced Monday.
According to the Lieutenant Governor’s office, the program was created in 2001 to support military families with loved ones who are deployed, preparing to deploy in 6 months, or have recently returned from deployment.
“I am very proud to be part of the 21st annual Operation ELF, an initiative that supports military families while their loved ones are deployed,” Bysiewicz said. “Although these brave men and women will not be home for the holidays, it is our honor to give back and support the unsung heroes of military service, their families.”
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The lieutenant governor’s office said about 150 Connecticut National Guard Airmen are deployed in operations around the world, with large groups in the Horn of Africa and the Middle East.
Nearly 70 soldiers from the 142nd Medical Company have returned from Poland, 15 soldiers from the 1109th Theater Aviation Support Maintenance Group have returned from Kuwait, and more than 60 aviation soldiers are actively deployed in the Middle East, the lieutenant governor’s office said.
Bysiewicz continued, “I want to thank our Connecticut National Guard Soldiers and Airmen for their service and dedication to our country, and I hope Operation ELF can bring a ray of hope to their loved ones during the holiday season.”
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The program raises money for families through gift card donations and has awarded $47,000 in need-based grants to members and $14,000 in scholarships. Toys, fuel oil, snow removal and housekeeping services are also in need, the lieutenant governor’s office said.
“Our soldiers and airmen make great sacrifices when deployed overseas, as do their families,” said Maj. Gen. Francis Evon. “ELF is a great way to give back to our military families with a shared sense of purpose and community when the holidays and Christmas season can seem daunting when someone is deployed far away.”
Evon continued, “I thank our soldiers and airmen for their sacrifices, but I also thank our families who make it all possible by maintaining the home front.”
Within Operation ELF is the Adopt-a-Family program, which also provides financial support by offering individuals or businesses the opportunity to “adopt” a military family. Adopters can fund or purchase items they need anonymously and receive a summary of family demographics and holiday wishlist.
Donations are accepted until December 12. For more information about Operation ELF or Adopt-a-Family, people can call (800) 858-2677, or visit the Operation ELF and Connecticut National Guard Facebook pages at facebook.com /connecticutoperationelf and facebook.com/connecticutnationalguard.
Gift cards can be sent to this address:
Connecticut Military Department
Family Programs Office
For financial donations, the Office of the Lieutenant Governor requests that all checks be made payable to Connecticut National Guard Foundation, Incorporated, and annotate “Operation ELF in the memo line. Contributions can be made here or sent by post to this address:
Connecticut National Guard Foundation, Inc.
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