For veteran and active duty families in need, the holidays can be particularly difficult. Thanks to a new national partnership between the Boot Campaign’s Santa Boots program and two other national non-profits serving the military – Armed Services YMCA and Operation Homefront – more than 85 military families across the country will now receive “surprise” holiday gift packages with customized gifts for their entire family inside.
“Santa Boots is about sharing the holiday spirit with those who sacrifice so much for us,” said Boot Campaign CEO Shelly Kirkland. “Two years ago, we started receiving nominations for military families through our network, but we knew a bigger need was there. Partnering with these like-minded, committed organizations will broaden our impact to veterans and troops across the U.S. There are so many deserving families!”
Working in collaboration with the Armed Services YMCA’s 13 U.S. branches and Operation Homefront’s 23 U.S. locations, Boot Campaign will now have access to more than one million military families across the country.
Veteran and active duty families are nominated by each partner non-profit location and once chosen, gifts specific to those families are donated by patriotic families and businesses across the country, such as Camden Property Trust who will support military families in cities across their portfolio. Gift boxes are then delivered just days before Christmas. Corporations already providing support this year include The Elf on the Shelf®, Lounge County, The Container Store, O-Venture and Texas Roadhouse. Country music superstar Joe Nichols, will also help kick off the campaign’s top-secret “Elf Week” – from Dec. 4 – 8 – where volunteers shop and assemble the holiday gift boxes for all Santa Boots families.
“The Elf on the Shelf is honored to partner with the Boot Campaign for a third season,” said Christa Pitts, Founder and Co-CEO of CCA and B, home of The Elf on the Shelf®. “Creating family moments is at the heart of everything our company strives to accomplish and supporting the Santa Boots program allows us the opportunity to help share these moments with deserving military families. What a wonderful way to celebrate the spirit of the season!”
The Santa Boots Program, first introduced by Boot Campaign in 2015, has made a difference for more than 100 military families since inception, providing a joy-filled Christmas for veteran and active duty military families who may not have been able to afford Christmas gifts otherwise. According to Kirkland, money is often tight after deployments, and some military families have PCS orders or face service-related injuries. Without help around the holidays, many military families would go without the uplifting tradition and gifts they deserve.
“We are very excited to partner with Boot Campaign’s Santa Boots Program this year. The gifts they provide to military families represent the deep respect this country has for those who protect our freedoms. We are honored to be a part of that,” said William French, Vice Adm., USN (ret), President and CEO of the Armed Services YMCA.
“Operation Homefront serves America’s military families nationwide through our programs, services and great partnerships,” said Brig Gen, USAF (Ret), Robert D. Thomas, Chief Operating Officer at Operation Homefront. “We are delighted to partner with Boot Campaign’s Santa Boots Program to help brighten the lives of military families this holiday season.”