New York, N.Y. – December 6, 2022: DHL Express, the world’s leading provider of international express shipping services, is delivering the gift of joy to U.S. military stationed far from home this holiday season.
To help troops enjoy a traditional holiday celebration, DHL is once again sending hundreds of freshly cut Christmas trees with lights, ornaments, and decorations as well as menorahs and hundreds of handwritten letters from school children to U.S. servicemen and women stationed in Bahrain, Iraq and Kuwait. For the past 19 years, DHL has coordinated this very special delivery – known as Operation Holiday Cheer – in partnership with Dees’ Nursery and many charitable organizations from the NYC-metropolitan area.
“The holidays can be especially hard for our servicemen and women who are stationed abroad, so we hope that through Operation Holiday Cheer we are able to lift their sprits by giving them a touch of home and reminding them that we are overwhelmingly grateful for their sacrifices,” said DHL Express U.S. CEO Greg Hewitt. “Of the thousands of holiday deliveries that DHL makes this time of year, this initiative is among the most rewarding and meaningful for all of us at DHL. It is a true pleasure to donate our global shipping network to deliver Christmas trees and other holiday gifts to our brave and selfless troops.”
Operation Holiday Cheer kicked off on Monday, Dec. 5, with a celebration at Dees’ Nursery in Oceanside, NY. The event featured local community members, veterans groups, schoolchildren and Nassau County dignitaries – as well as Santa himself, who appeared bearing gifts from DHL. The children read letters they wrote to soldiers, followed by a performance of holiday and patriotic songs by the American Bombshells.
From Long Island-based Dees’ Nursery, a police motorcade escorted the special convoy to the DHL Gateway facility at JFK International Airport, where the holiday decorations and letters were loaded aboard a DHL 767 jet. After a quick stop at the DHL Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport (CVG) hub, the donated items were flown nonstop to the DHL Bahrain hub, where they are dispatched to U.S. military personnel in the region.
In addition to the trees from Dees’ Nursery, the other holiday contributions were donated by generous community organizations, including Adopt-a-Soldier Platoon, Proctor-Hopson Post 1896 Veterans of Foreign Wars, John McLaughlin VFW Post 8540 and other VFW chapters in New York State.
DHL Operation Holiday Cheer began in 2004 when the mother of an Iraq-based U.S. soldier asked Dees’ Nursery if she could send a Christmas tree to him. The nursery insisted on donating the tree but needed help with shipping. That’s when Dees’ owner, Tom Di Dominica, Sr., mentioned his mission to businessman Jim Adelis, who then contacted DHL Express – and it all began.
Since that single tree was shipped in 2004, DHL Operation Holiday Cheer has transported more than 12,500 trees from the Dees’ farm in Maine, providing a special holiday experience for soldiers serving our country overseas.
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