Press Releases

Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz



(HARTFORD, CT) – Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz and the Connecticut National Guard Foundation today announced the kickoff for the 21st annual Operation ELF (Embracing Lonely Families) to support Connecticut’s service members and their families.

Operation ELF, established in 2001, supports military families enduring the hardships caused by the deployment of family members. ELF helps lessen the financial stresses military families face from the call to active duty. It is designed to support families whose loved ones are deployed, preparing to deploy within the next six months or recently returned from deployment.

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

Approximately 150 Connecticut National Guard Airmen are currently deployed to operations around the globe, with large groups in the Horn of Africa and the Middle East. The holiday season does not slow down the deployment cycle as nearly 70 Soldiers of 142nd Medical Company recently returned from Poland, 15 Soldiers from the 1109th Theater Aviation Sustainment Maintenance Group returned from Kuwait, and more than 60 aviation Soldiers are preparing to deploy to the Middle East.

“I’m so proud to be a part of the 21st Annual Operation ELF, an initiative that supports military families while their loved ones are deployed,” said Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz. “While these brave men and women may not be home for the holidays, it is our honor to give back and support the unsung heroes of military service, their families. I want to thank our Connecticut National Guard Soldiers and Airmen for their service and dedication to our country, and hope that Operation ELF can provide a beacon of hope to their loved ones during the holiday season.”

“Our Soldiers and Airmen make great sacrifices when they deploy overseas and so do their families,” said Maj. Gen. Francis Evon. “ELF is a great way we can give back to our military families with a sense of shared purpose and community when the holidays and Christmas season can feel daunting when someone is deployed far away. I thank our Soldiers and Airmen for their sacrifices, but equally I thank our families who make it all possible by keeping the homefront going.”

Donations of gift cards for grocery and department/home goods stores, pharmacies and gas stations help support military families throughout the year. Year-to-date, the foundation has awarded over $47,000 of need-based grants to members and $14,000 in scholarships.

Other needs include donations of toys, fuel oil, snow removal and home maintenance services.

Within ELF is the Adopt-A-Family program. Its goal is to assist military families that are suffering extreme financial hardship as a result of their service members’ call to Active Duty, to help them meet their basic needs and have a fulfilling holiday season. Individuals or businesses may “adopt” a family from this category by funding or purchasing items of need identified by the family. The name of the family is never revealed to the adopting person or organization. Instead, 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.

How to help:

Gift cards and financial contributions can be mailed at any time. Please send donated gift cards to:

Connecticut Military Department

Office of Family Programs

360 Broad Street

Hartford, CT 06105

For financial donations (please make all checks payable to the Connecticut National Guard Foundation, Incorporated, and annotate “Operation ELF” in the memo line):

Connecticut National Guard Foundation, Inc.

360 Broad Street

Hartford, CT 06105

Or online at:

Monday, December 12, 2022, is the final day of the drop-off period.

Please be sure to include your name, address and phone number so that an appropriate acknowledgement of your contribution can be sent.

The Connecticut National Guard Foundation, Inc. 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. For more information, visit

For more information specific to Operation ELF or to adopt a family, please call (800) 858-2677, or refer to the Operation ELF and the Connecticut National Guard Facebook pages at and


For Immediate Release: Monday, November 14, 2022

Contact: Chelsea Neelon

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