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(Sacramento) – Assembly Majority Leader Alberto Torrico and other legislators will partner again this year with Yellow Ribbon America for the 6th annual toy drive, Operation Christmas for Our Troops and Their Families. “Operation Christmas” is part of a nationwide, non-partisan effort to show support for deployed as well as at-home military members and their families. According to the Pentagon, this is the largest holiday effort on behalf of the nation’s men and women in uniform.

Previous “Operation Christmas” drives have collected and distributed over 350,000 items in five years. The food, bikes, DVDs, games, gift cards and other presents are donated every year to the military families. A large number of retailers, churches and community organizations participate, as do more than 200 National Guard Armories, Reserve Centers and Active Duty military installations.

This year, starting Thursday, December 10th, Yellow Ribbon America’s “Military Santa” (Rick Sihner) and “Military Elf” Rodney Stanhope will be living in a shed in a Sacramento mall parking lot 24 hours a day for 12 days to draw attention to the toy drive and collect donations. The shed will be located in the Arden Fair Mall parking lot along Arden Way.

“Our men and women in military deserve our appreciation for their work and the stressful situations they endure every day,” Torrico said. “The stress on their families and the time apart from loved ones is tremendous. Yellow Ribbon America and the volunteers do a great job of reaching out to them and giving as much assistance as they can.”

Yellow Ribbon America was founded in 2003 as a nonpartisan, grassroots effort to unite all Americans in directly helping our military members and their families during wartime. Local businesses, residents, churches, and community groups focus their resources on helping families in their communities.

Earlier this year the State Legislature honored Yellow Ribbon America with a resolution declaring the week of June 29 through July 5 as Yellow Ribbon Week. The resolution, ACR 81, was jointly authored by Assembly Majority Leader Alberto Torrico (D-Newark) and Assembly Member Anthony Adams (R-Hesperia).

Assembly Majority Leader Torrico’s website: www.asm.ca.gov/torrico

[span class=media]Majority Leader Torrico says the holidays are a time to reflect on those who serve in the military.

Majority Leader Torrico says the bi-partisanship that’s exhibited in “Operation Christmas” should be more common in the capitol.
Majority Leader Torrico says Christmas is especially difficult for families that are separated during the holidays.{mp3remote}http://democrats.assembly.ca.gov/Newsline/Audio/20091208ACR81Torrico4.mp3"> mp3
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