Saturday’s Operation Holiday Cheer aims to fill troops’ wish lists
Lt. Governor Elizabeth Roberts and Major General Kevin McBride, Adjutant General of Rhode Island and Commanding General of Rhode Island National Guard, will welcome dozens of volunteers at the 10th Annual "Operation Holiday Cheer" collection drive at 10:30 a.m. this Saturday at the Rhode Island National Guard Armory, 541 Airport Road, Warwick.
The operation involves collecting donations of troops' most requested items from the public and corporate/community sponsors and filling 350 holiday care packages for Rhode Island servicemen and -women who will be serving abroad at the holidays. The U.S. Postal Service will be onsite to prepare the packages for shipment overseas.
Product donations from the troops' wish list, as well as cards and letters to the troops, will be accepted from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the armory. The wish list is available online at www.ltgov.state.ri.us/ohc.
Corporate and community sponsors have already made or pledged tens of thousands of dollars in wish list items and for postage. Thousands of additional wish list items are expected Saturday from the general public. On Sunday beginning at 9 a.m. at the Warwick Armory, volunteers will fill care packages and prepare them for shipping overseas to arrive in time for the holidays.
Corporate and community sponsors to date include AAA Southern New England, Alphagraphics, American Red Cross RI Chapter, Amica Mutual Insurance Company, Bank of America, BankNewport, Banneker Industries, Blue Star Moms, Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association, CVS Caremark, Del’s Lemonade, Dunkin Donuts, East Bay Newspapers, Hasbro, Home Depot, International Union of Operating Engineers Local 57, National Grid, New England Coffee/Autocrat, New England Patriots, Nortek, Ocean State Job Lot, Patriot Guard Riders, Pawtucket Red Sox, Providence Journal, RI National Guard and family members, RI National Guard Family Assistance Center, RI Resource Recovery Corp, and United States Postal Service.
Online monetary donations can be made via the American Red Cross RI Chapter website at www.riredcross.org, mailed to the American Red Cross Rhode Island Chapter to the attention of Operation Holiday Cheer at 105 Gano St., Providence, RI 02906, or dropped off at Saturday's event.
Operation Holiday Cheer is coordinated by the Lt. Governor's Office and the RI National Guard Family Assistance Program.