Lt. Gov. McKee launches 2018 Op­er­a­tion Hol­i­day Cheer

Pawtucket Times - - VALLEY/NATION -

WAR­WICK. – On Mon­day, Lt. Gover­nor Dan McKee launched the 16th An­nual Op­er­a­tion Hol­i­day Cheer by an­nounc­ing a new part­ner­ship with Op­er­a­tion Stand Down Rhode Is­land (OSDRI) that will al­low the pro­gram to spread cheer to Rhode Is­land vet­er­ans for the first time.

Op­er­a­tion Hol­i­day Cheer is a sea­sonal ini­tia­tive to ship care pack­ages to Rhode Is­land ser­vice men and women who are away from home dur­ing the hol­i­days. Each year, con­tri­bu­tions are col­lected from across the state, and dozens of vol­un­teers help as­sem­ble the pack­ages for ship­ment on a sin­gle week­end in Novem­ber.

Re­cent con­fir­ma­tion of a de­crease in the num­ber of Rhode Is­land de­ploy­ments this hol­i­day sea­son prompted the Lt. Gover­nor’s Of­fice to part­ner with OSDRI to put ex­tra do­na­tions to good use.

OSDRI, a lo­cal non-profit ded­i­cated to help­ing vet­er­ans with hous­ing, em­ploy­ment and ed­u­ca­tion, will dis­trib­ute a portion of this year’s Op­er­a­tion Hol­i­day Cheer care pack­ages to their net­work of Rhode Is­land vet­er­ans.

“Our team was thrilled to hear that more Rhode Is­land troops will be home for the hol­i­days than in any other year since we took over this pro­gram four years ago. This news pro­vided us a new op­por­tu­nity to part­ner with Op­er­a­tion Stand Down and give back to our vet­er­ans,” said Lt. Gover­nor McKee. “I am in­cred­i­bly thank­ful to our cor­po­rate donors who, af­ter learn­ing the num­ber of lo­cal de­ploy­ments de­creased, stepped up to sup­port the ex­pan­sion of this pro­gram to our vet­eran com­mu­nity.”

Do­na­tions of goods from the pub­lic will be ac­cepted and sorted at the Na­tional Guard Ar­mory at 541 Air­port Road in War­wick on Satur­day, Novem­ber 17 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Vol­un­teers will as­sem­ble pack­ages on Sun­day, Novem­ber 18 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., also at the Ar­mory. To see the Troops’ Wish List, make a mon­e­tary do­na­tion, or vol­un­teer, visit www.lt­gov.ri.gov/ohc.

Op­er­a­tion Hol­i­day Cheer is or­ga­nized by the Of­fice of the Lieu­tenant Gover­nor in part­ner­ship with the Rhode Is­land Na­tional Guard’s Fam­ily As­sis­tance Cen­ter, the U.S. Postal Ser­vice Prov­i­dence Branch and the Rhode Is­land chap­ter of the Amer­i­can Red Cross.

This pro­gram re­lies en­tirely on the gen­eros­ity of in­di­vid­u­als and cor­po­rate and com­mu­nity spon­sors. This year’s sup­port­ers in­clude Amer­i­can Red Cross, RI Chap­ter, Amica Mu­tual In­sur­ance Com­pany, BankNew­port, Bank RI, Ban­neker In­dus­tries, Blue Star Moms, City of War­wick, CVS Health, Dels Lemon­ade, Dunkin’ Donuts, Fin­lay Ex­tracts & In­gre­di­ents, Gen­eral Dy­nam­ics Elec­tric Boat, Girl Scouts of South­east­ern New Eng­land, Has­bro, The Home De­pot, Lo­cal 57 Op­er­at­ing En­gi­neers, Na­tional Grid, Nav­i­gant Credit Union, New Eng­land Pa­tri­ots, Ocean State Job Lot, Paw­tucket Red Sox, Rhode Is­land Re­source Re­cov­ery, Stop & Shop and U.S. Postal Ser­vice Prov­i­dence Branch.

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