Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

December 20, 2006 10:06 ET

Operation Santa Claus Delivers Gifts to Deployed Troops

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Dec. 20, 2006) - The more than 3,000 Canadian Forces (CF) personnel deployed in Afghanistan, Africa, the Balkans, the Caribbean, the Middle East, Southwest Asia and the Arabian Gulf Region - and as those serving on HMCS Ottawa - will be receiving holiday packages from home at Christmas time.

Each year, the CF Personnel Support Agency (CFPSA) coordinates Operation Santa Claus: a program designed to enhance the morale of deployed troops during the holiday season by collecting donations from businesses to prepare thousands of gift packages for deployed troops.

"The program ensures that all Canadian troops working away from home will receive a little holiday cheer," says Shirley Penny, CFPSA Amenities Coordinator. "Each deployed CF member receives an equal gift package as donations are sought in specific quantities - enough for all."

This annual program also provides corporate Canada with the perfect opportunity to demonstrate its support to Canada's deployed servicemen and women over the holiday season.

"By working through Op Santa Claus, companies can be certain that their support will actually reach our troops serving overseas," says Jim Peverley, CFPSA Director Deployment Support. "There are very strict health and security guidelines on what can be shipped to deployed troops.

It is too late to contribute to Op Santa Claus this year. The collection of donations commences in the spring, as packaging and delivery preparation occur in late-September to ensure delivery and distribution in December.

Although the support is appreciated, the CF re-supply system cannot handle care packages addressed to "Any CF member" at this time. The mission re-supply system is designed to move operational and operational support equipment. Donated goods do not qualify as such, and space is extremely limited at this time.

Those still wanting to send Christmas cheer to our CF are encouraged to post messages on the "Write to the troops" message board, available at the following link: http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/Community/Messageboard/index_e.asp.

Operation Santa Claus is just one of many ways that Canadians can participate in CFPSA's "Support Our Troops" campaign. All details on supporting our troops can be found at www.cfpsa.com/supportourtroops, including purchasing "Support Our Troops" merchandise, writing to the troops, sponsorship and donations.

Companies interested in donating to CF morale and welfare programs are advised to visit www.cfpsa.com/supportourtroops to learn about programs and criteria.

For a current list of CF Deployed Operations please visit:

http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/operations/current_ops_e.asp

The CFPSA is responsible for enhancing the operational effectiveness of CF members through the delivery of morale and welfare programs.

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