Building a brighter Christmas

By Olivia Burton, Kentucky National Guard Family Programs

HV3A4617

Kentucky National Guard and The American Legion Auxiliary Anderson Unit 34 teamed up for the annual Operation Military Cheer to benefit military families during the holiday. (Kentucky National Guard photo by Olivia Burton)

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Over the past several years, Home Builders Care, in partnership with Members of the Home Builders Association of Lexington have collected toys, bicycles, clothing, musical instruments and gift cards that have been distributed to more than 650 Kentucky Guard families.

Operation Military Cheer has become a momentous occasion for the local community and military families needing a little help around the holiday season. This year was no exception.

HV3A4631

Sgt. Stephanie Williams and Sgt. 1st Class Charity Lane help load donations from the Home Builders Association in Lexington, Ky., Dec. 11, 2015. (Kentucky National Guard photo by Olivia Burton)

“In 2011, we started a non-profit here at the Home Builders Association called Home Builders Care. Our involvement in Operation Military Cheer has grown tremendously, especially this year,” said Treasurer Don Sullivan. “It is well worth the work and preparation. This is my Christmas.”

Once the toys were collected at the Home Builders Association in Lexington, they were transported to the “North Pole” at the American Legion Auxiliary in Anderson County. Donations flooded Unit 34, ranging from large corporations to single contributors. Ale 8, Mayfield Academy, The Lexington Church and tenants at Bluegrass Army Depot also took the opportunity to help out.

Once the items were organized by local volunteers, they were sent to 16 armories across the state. From Pikeville to Murray, 148 families, including 379 children, will have a little more to smile about this Christmas.

Child and Youth Programs Coordinator Linda Jones shared their reason for the season, “It not only warms my heart to see all these kids get gifts for Christmas that wouldn’t have otherwise, but it warms my heart to see fellow military families and the community step up and take care of these kids for Christmas.

HV3A4651

Kentucky National Guard and The American Legion Auxiliary Anderson Unit 34 teamed up for the annual Operation Military Cheer to benefit military families during the holiday. (Kentucky National Guard photo by Olivia Burton)

The Kentucky Guard and The American Legion Auxiliary Anderson Unit 34 have spearheaded the drive to serve families in need this holiday season.

On behalf of the State Family Programs Office, we would like to thank everyone for their contributions and sacrifices made to provide help to our families. If you would like to learn more about this program or are a Service member in need of assistance, please call 1-800-372-7601 opt 1.

About kentuckyguard