Op SANTA CLAUS delivers smiles to troops abroad

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Although the holiday season is a time to reunite with loved ones and enjoy time away from work, for many CAF members, it is a time of separation from family and friends.

For CAF members serving in locations around the world, Operation SANTA CLAUS brings a small piece of home in a package.

Inside an Op SANTA CLAUS package can be found candy and chips, personal hygiene products, clothing, and entertainment items. The process begins with Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services (CFMWS) collecting donations that are subsequently sent to 25 Canadian Forces supply depot (CFSD) for preparation, packaging, and shipping.

For the “elves” behind the scene in Canada, work starts in September and ends in November in order to ensure each deployed member receives his or her present in December. It is a massive assembly line project and this year, approximately 1895 packages were prepared and sent to approximately 33 locations around the globe.

Receiving an Op SANTA CLAUS package can be a great morale booster. For CAF members serving in war-torn areas, getting a little piece of home can provide a bit of humanity. Opening an Op Santa package provides a means to reflect on the freedom and safety that we enjoy at home, thoughts of gratitude, and a reminder of how fortunate we are to live in such a great country.

The donations within each package are appreciated and can also prove to be useful during a tour. Also included in the packages are Christmas cards sent by children from schools across Canada, which include heartwarming comments and greetings. The messages remind troops of their own families back home, and help ease home sickness a little.

25 CFSD takes pride in having the opportunity to assist in this initiative. For more information, visit the Op SANTA CLAUS page at cfmws.com, clicking on Support Our Troops and Programs.

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