ROCKY HILL (WFSB) – Last July, we introduced you to Natalia Gause of Rocky Hill who started "Operation Light Of Friendship".
She started selling creative bulb ornaments at farmers’ markets and other local businesses with a goal to use the proceeds to purchase care packages for servicemen and women overseas.
“That day you aired it, people came to the flower market saying, I saw you on TV. I need to buy a bulb,” Natalia tells us.
After selling nearly 500 ornaments, she was able to send out 48 care packages loaded with toiletries and snacks.
Other local stores and organizations also wanted to contribute to the cause. Places like Boscov Department Store, the non-profit ‘Boxes to Boots’ in Berlin and ‘Point 27’ even donated dog tags, which Natalia says made the packages even more special. “I felt really good that the military is getting something good for Christmas when they're not home with their families.”
But Natalia didn’t stop there. She took the leftover money from the ornament sales, and $2,000 in monetary donations from the public and used it towards making some local children’s Christmases a little brighter.
Natalia purchased gifts for the kids and moms at the Hallie House in Middletown, and toy for one of the local ‘Stuff-A-Truck’ events.
“I really like seeing them get a gift for Christmas, b/c everyone should get a gift for Christmas.”
Natalia’s ‘Light Friendship Bulb’ ornaments are still for sale.