OTTAWA – The Royal Canadian Legion is wishing troops overseas a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays through its support of Operation Santa Claus once again this year.
Over 2,400 red gift bags were assembled by the Legion’s Dominion Command staff and packaged for transport overseas.
“This is one way to send a smile and a thank you to Canada’s Veterans who can’t be home at this special time of the year,” says Dominion President David Flannigan. The bags are filled with items that soldiers have told us are appreciated when they’re away. They include things like playing cards, lip balm and a variety of snacks.
Operation Santa Claus is an initiative of Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services, which delivers the holiday packages to Canadian soldiers. The Legion’s gift bag is part of a larger box that each soldier receives. Other items donated by individuals and corporations across the country included ear buds, charging cords and Tim Hortons coffee and tea.
This year’s packages went by sea and air to missions around the world for distribution. Those locations included Latvia, Kuwait, HMSC Charlottetown, the Middle East, Europe and Africa.
According to Operation Santa Claus, not only do the gift boxes give soldiers a taste of home, they help build camaraderie and spark fun conversations, which are welcome activities when deployed away from loved ones over the holidays.
“These soldiers need to know they’re always in our thoughts,” adds Flannigan.
About The Royal Canadian Legion
Founded in 1925, the Legion is Canada’s largest Veteran support and community service organization. We are a non-profit organization with a national reach across Canada as well as branches in the U.S., Europe and Mexico. With more than 275,000 members, many of whom volunteer an extraordinary amount of time to their branches, our strength is in our numbers.