A Connecticut charity threw local military families a holiday party this weekend.
Operation E.L.F., which stands for embracing lonely families, hosted the 16th annual event at William A. O'Neill Armory in Hartford on Saturday afternoon. The charity aims to help “ease hardship and address the financial stresses of deployment throughout the year.”
Thank you military families for your service & thank you to the 50+ Op ELF volunteers. The Grunts CT are here showing their support too. pic.twitter.com/RMVJTvDOXM— Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman (@LGWyman) December 16, 2017
Nearly 200 family members, including 100 kids of deployed military members attended the holiday party. More than 90 volunteers donated their time to Operation E.L.F. to help wrap gifts and work the event itself.
“This annual campaign gives Connecticut residents an opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to all of the military families from our state who are sacrificing so much in order to protect and serve our nation,” Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said in a statement on Saturday. “These donations will go a long way in supporting those whose commitment to our country has provided a priceless service. I thank Lt. Governor Wyman and 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.”
Wyman attended the party and thanked those "who raised funds and awareness for Connecticut military families."
“Having a loved one deployed during the holiday season is especially hard, but Operation ELF makes a difference. We are so grateful for the compassion and support shown to these families, and we are grateful to all of our military personnel for their service," Wyman said in a statement on Saturday.
The 102nd Army rock band "Ripchord" is at Op ELF this year too. They are fantastic. Thank you! pic.twitter.com/ACp8eu6oZY— Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman (@LGWyman) December 16, 2017
Operation E.L.F. received a $10,000 contribution from the Ford Motor Company through Ken Crowley, owner of the Crowley Auto Group.
“I am so happy to be able to support Operation ELF and the Connecticut National Guard Foundation,” said Ken Crowley, who was awarded the 2016 Salute to Dealers Award for exceptional community service and chose Operation ELF to receive the donation, said in a statement on Saturday. “I thank the Ford Motor Company for the check that will enable Operation ELF to provide essential goods and services to Connecticut military families who selflessly do so much for all of Connecticut.”
Last year, Operation E.L.F. received about $17,500 in gift cards, $10,000 in donations, and new winter clothing items. Those donations helped to support more than 500 families during 2016, the governor's office said.
Operation E.L.F. said it still needs donations of gift cards. The gift cards should be for grocery and department/home goods stores, pharmacies, and gas stations. Donations of fuel oil, snow removal services, and home maintenance services are also wanted by the Operation E.L.F.
People may drop off donations from now to Dec. 22 at the William A. O’Neill Armory, which is located at 360 Broad Street in Hartford, CT 06105. The donations can be dropped off Monday through Friday, during normal business hours.
People can also donate by emailing gift cards or financial contributions made through the CT National Guard Foundation:
Donators are advised to include their name, address and phone number so that an appropriate acknowledgement of your contribution can be sent by Operation E.L.F.
For more information on the CT National Guard Foundation, click here.
The Connecticut National Guard currently has more than 100 service members deployed in support of operations around the world, with another 300 currently in the deployment cycle.
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