Hartford — Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman and the Connecticut National Guard have kicked off this year’s, Operation E.L.F. — Embracing Lonely Families — to help the families of servicemen and women who are deployed, recently returned or preparing to deploy within the next six months.
More than 700 Connecticut National Guard members are deployed in southwest Asia. They have left behind more than 1,200 family members, including more than 400 school-age children.
For the families, donations of grocery store cards, department store gift cards, new, unwrapped toys for all age groups and both genders, are sought. Grocery and department store gift cards will be used throughout the holidays and beyond for families in need.
Donations of fuel oil and snow removal services may be made to the Connecticut National Guard Family Program. Financial contributions may be made to the Connecticut National Guard Foundation Inc.
Donations may be dropped off between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. through Dec. 10 at the New London Armory, 249 Bayonet St., New London, and at the Norwich Armory, 38 Stott St., Norwich.
Donations of gift cards to a local grocery or department store, gas station or pharmacy may be mailed to: Connecticut National Guard Office of Family Programs, 360 Broad St., Hartford, CT, 06105. Please include your name, address and phone number with the donation so acknowledgment can be made.
Within ELF, the Adopt-A-Family program helps families suffering extreme financial hardship as a result of their service member’s call to active duty. Individuals or businesses can “adopt” a family from this category and help them have a great holiday season. The name of the family is not revealed, rather a summary of the family’s demographics and wish list are provided.
For more information or to make a tax-deductible donation to the Connecticut National Guard Foundation, Inc., visit www.ctngfoundation.org. Contact Operation ELF at (800) 858-2677 or visit the Operation ELF and the Connecticut National Guard Facebook pages.