Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman and the Connecticut National Guard have launched the 10th annual Operation ELF (Embracing Lonely Families) program that supports families of soldiers and airmen who have recently been deployed overseas or returned home.
More than 700 Connecticut National Guard troops are currently serving in Afghanistan and other locations in Southwest Asia. They have left behind more than 1,200 family members, including more than 400 school-age children.
Operation ELF’s goal is to provide the families with toys, gift cards from grocery and department stores, cash, donations of fuel oil, and services such as snow removal.
“Deployment for these brave men and women means many months away from their homes, their families and their jobs,” Ms. Wyman said. “I believe it is our obligation to honor that sacrifice by supporting them and their families when they are gone and when they return. I especially urge the corporate and business community to step up and not only make a real difference in the lives of those left behind, but give peace of mind to our troops overseas.”
Toys will be given to children affected by deployment during a holiday party scheduled for Dec. 15 at the William A. O’Neill Armory. Donations may be dropped off at National Guard Armories statewide.
Operation ELF may be reached at 800-858-2677. More information is available at facebook.com/connecticutoperationelf and facebook.com/connecticutnationalguard.
Donations may be dropped off at the following armories through Monday, Dec. 10, between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.:
• Army Aviation Support Facility, Bradley International Airport, Route 75, Windsor Locks
• William A. O’Neill Armory, 360 Broad Street, Hartford
• Waterbury Armory, 64 Field Street, Waterbury
• New London Armory, 249 Bayonet Street, New London
• Stratford Armory, 63 Armory Road, Stratford
• Norwich Armory, 38 Stott Avenue, Norwich
Gift cards may also be mailed to Connecticut National Guard, Office of Family Programs, 360 Broad Street, Hartford CT 06105.
When mailing a donation, include name, address and phone number in order to receive an appropriate acknowledgement of the contribution.
Donations of fuel oil and snow removal services may be made to the Connecticut National Guard Family Program, and financial contributions may be made to the Connecticut National Guard Foundation Inc. at Connecticut National Guard Foundation Inc., 360 Broad Street, Hartford CT 06105.
Visit ctngfoundation.org for more information.
Within ELF is the Adopt-A-Family program that assists families suffering extreme financial hardship through “adoption” by an individual or business. The name of the family is never revealed to the adopting person or organization and gifts are delivered by the family’s case worker along with the name of the donor, if desired.
The Connecticut National Guard Foundation Inc. is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization that was established in April 2003 for the purpose of providing emergency financial assistance for Connecticut National Guard members and their families. All donations are fully tax-deductible.