Operation E.L.F. Hotline

Operation E.L.F. (Embracing Lonely Families)

Operation ELF, established in 2001, provides support to military families enduring the hardship of separation due to deployment and helps lessen the financial stresses these families face resulting from their call to active duty.  It is designed to support military families whose loved ones are deployed, preparing to deploy within the next six months, or recently returned from deployment.

Operation ELF provided the generous citizens of our great state an opportunity to "do something" to show their support of our men and women in uniform and their families.

Over 350 Connecticut National Guardsmen are currently in the deployment cycle, with approximately 110 Guardsmen currently serving overseas and another 170 preparing to deploy in support of operations around the world. Sixty-six members of the 143rd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, headquartered in Waterbury, Conn., returned from deployment in Poland in late September.

Donations of new unwrapped toys for children of all ages as well as donations of gift cards for grocery and department/home goods stores, pharmacies, and gas stations help support military families throughout the year. The donation of fuel oil, snow removal, and home maintenance services are also accepted.

How to donate:  

Gift card donations and new unwrapped gifts may be dropped off through December 10, 2019 at one of the following
drop-off locations between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.:     

​William A. O'Neill Armory
360 Broad Street
Hartford, CT 06105
Bradley Air National Guard Base
100 Nicholson Road
East Granby, CT 06026
Niantic Readiness Center
38 Smith Street
Niantic, CT 06357
​Army Aviation Support Facility
85-300 Light Lane (Off of Route 75)
Windsor Locks, CT 06096
Armed Forces Reserve Center
90 Wooster Heights Road
Danbury, CT 06702
​New London Armory
249 Bayonet Street
New London, CT 06320

On Tuesday, December 10, 2019, the final day of the drop-off period, the William A. O'Neill Armory will host extended hours for drop-offs, staying open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.     

Gift cards donations can also be mailed to:

Connecticut National Guard
Service Member & Family Support Center

360 Broad Street
Hartford, CT 06105-3795
Mailed donations should include the donor's name, address and phone number so that contributions can be acknowledged.

For the donation of home services, please call the CTNG SMFSC at 1-800-858-2677.

Financial Donations: 

Financial donations can be made through the Connecticut National Guard Foundation, Inc. The foundation is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization that was established in April of 2003 for the purpose of providing emergency financial assistance for Connecticut National Guard members and their families. All donations are fully tax-deductible.

Financial donations can be sent to:

Connecticut National Guard Foundation, Inc.
360 Broad Street
Hartford, CT 06105-3795
Checks should be made payable to: "CTNGFI “– in the memo section, please write “Operation E.L.F.”

For more information about the Connecticut National Guard Foundation, visit https://ctngfi.org/.

The Adopt-A-Family Program   

The Adopt-A-Family offers the opportunity for individuals, businesses and families to "adopt" a family from our military community who might be in need during the holiday season and beyond. The program is 100 percent confidential and the adopting family/business/individual is never given any personal information on the family in need. Additionally, no service member or employee's chain of command is ever notified of your enrollment in the program.

The sole purpose of Adopt-A-Family is to provide the most essential goods or services a family is in need of. Items we seek to provide to families include winter clothing (coats, scarves, gloves, boots), food, assistance with essential household expenses (utilities, heat) and presents for children. Adopt-A-Family is not meant to provide luxury items like game systems, electronics or jewelry. The goal is to provide for families who are suffering hardships, whether temporary or longer term, especially during the holiday season.

Who is eligible?      
Any currently serving member of any branch of service, or their dependent family member, is eligible to make an application for adoption. Adoptions are limited to one per household.

How to apply?      
Application can be made by contacting the Connecticut National Guard Service Member and Family Support Center directly, at 1-800-858-2677.

How to adopt a family?              
Individuals or businesses may "adopt" a family from this category by funding or purchasing items of need pre-identified by the family.  The name of the family is never revealed to the adopting person or organization.  Rather, a summary of the family’s demographics and wish list are provided.  The applicant’s case worker ensures gifts are received in time for the holidays. If you are interested, please call the CTNG SMFSC at 1-800-858-2677.