Wednesday, 01 February 2023

Legislators support Christmas drive for troops

SACRAMENTO – Continuing a tradition which began in 2004, state Legislators are once again lending their support to a major gift donation drive on behalf of the state’s deployed members of the National Guard, Army Reserve and active duty soldiers.


At a news conference held Thursday morning at the State Capitol, lawmakers announced their intent to accept donations in their Capitol and district offices.


The fourth annual “Operation Christmas for Our Troops” drive actually began on Nov. 1; however, donations of new, unwrapped toys, new or used DVDs or video games, or retail gift cards will be accepted until Dec. 21.


A large number of retailers, churches and community organizations also are participating, as are 200 National Guard Armories, Reserve Centers and Active Duty military installations.


The statewide Operation Christmas for Our Troops and their families began in November 2004. The driving force behind the effort is Yellow Ribbon America, a nonpartisan, grassroots organization designed to unite Americans in support of the nation’s military members and their families.


The last three drives collected nearly 100,000 toys, DVDs and gift cards for California’s military families and their loved ones deployed overseas.


Brad White, Yellow Ribbon America’s national chairman, says the goal is to make this year’s donation drive “bigger and better” than ever.


“We are pleased to once again have the bi-partisan support of the California Legislature on behalf of Operation Christmas for Our Troops IV, which will bring community-based help and support for the families of our California deployed and home-based military members and their families so that they can have the best Christmas possible,” White said.


“Through the generous donations from California’s communities, we will be able to give gifts to military families especially the children of America’s military to help them through the emotional difficulties of the holidays while their loved ones are far from home.”


Among the lawmakers lending their support to this year’s effort are Assemblymembers Anthony Adams (R-Hesperia), Chuck Devore (R-Irvine), Roger Niello (R-Fair Oaks), Nell Soto (D-Pomona) and Alberto Torrico (D-Newark), Senators Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) and Patricia Wiggins (D- Santa Rosa), and members of the Assembly and Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committees.


“I am glad to be part of this wonderful, bi-partisan effort on behalf of our military and military families,” Senator Wiggins said. “Each and every one of us can, individually, make a difference in someone’s life. Together, we can make this the best ‘Operation Christmas’ drive ever, and by doing so, we can show our troops and their families that we are thinking about them during the holidays.”


In addition to Legislators’ Capitol and district offices, donations are also being accepted by the Senate Veterans Committee (room 251 of the Legislative Office Building, 1020 N St., Sacramento), and the Assembly Veterans Affairs Committee (room 389 of the same building).


Wiggins' spokesman, David Miller, said she will be accepting donated items at all of her offices, Capitol and district. Her Ukiah office, located at 200 S. School St., telephone 707-468-8914, covers both Lake and Mendocino Counties.


Folks wishing to offer support in other ways can also go to the Yellow Ribbon America Web site: www.YellowRibbonAmerica.org.


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