NEW YORK, Dec. 3, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- As it has for more than a decade, DHL Express is delivering hundreds of fresh-cut Christmas trees, thousands of handwritten letters, plus menorahs, decorations and gifts to U.S. military personnel stationed abroad. The massive holiday haul will arrive at U.S. bases in Afghanistan, Bahrain and Kuwait in time for the holidays to provide the men and women serving their country with the spirit of home. Operation Holiday Cheer, one of many charitable programs that DHL runs, is now in its fifteenth year, and the company is once again teaming up with the New York community to deliver this welcome bit of home at holiday time.
"Our servicemen and women make incredible sacrifices, especially at this time of the year, when they're so far from family," said Greg Hewitt, CEO of DHL Express U.S. "Until they're able to come home for the holidays, DHL will bring some of those feelings of home to them. We're proud to partner with members of the community to deliver DHL Operation Holiday Cheer, as a way to thank those who protect our freedoms every day."
Operation Holiday Cheer kicked off on Monday, December 3, with a celebration at Long Island-based Dees' Nursery. Local community and veterans' groups, schools and Nassau County dignitaries were on hand—as was Santa himself, who came bearing even more gifts from DHL. Local schoolchildren and the Girl Scouts of Nassau County read aloud letters they wrote to soldiers, and the USO Show Troupe performed a variety of holiday and patriotic songs.
From Dees', a police motorcade led the trees, letters, menorahs, gifts and decorations to the DHL Gateway facility at JFK International Airport, where DHL employees, VFW, military and law enforcement personnel, and members of the community loaded them onto a DHL aircraft. After a quick stop at the DHL Americas Hub at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport (CVG), a DHL 777 aircraft traveling nonstop to the Middle East will deliver the special holiday cargo directly to servicemen and women.
The holiday trees and gifts represent donations by local businesses and community organizations, among them the Lt. Dennis W Zilinski Memorial Fund. Others who made significant contributions include Dees' Nursery; Adelis International Security; Adopt-a-Soldier Platoon; and Proctor-Hopson Post 1896 Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), including VFW members from across New York State.
Since 2004, DHL Operation Holiday Cheer has since shipped more than 10,500 trees that Dees' Christmas tree farm in Maine has provided, along with thousands of ornaments, decorations, gifts and menorahs.
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