DHL Helps the Holidays Feel Like Home for U.S. Troops

  • The charitable program ‘DHL Operation Holiday Cheer’ will deliver
    hundreds of Christmas trees, holiday decorations and messages of
    support to U.S. troops serving abroad

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–For U.S. troops serving in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait and Bahrain, it’s
beginning to look — and smell — a lot like Christmas and the holidays.
Hundreds of fresh-cut Christmas trees, along with thousands of holiday
letters, menorahs, decorations and gifts, will find their way to these
service men and women courtesy of DHL Express. This marks the thirteenth
year that DHL Express has teamed up with the New York community for DHL
Operation Holiday Cheer, a program that helps make the holidays feel
more like home for U.S. troops serving abroad.

“Operation Holiday Cheer is a chance for DHL to show our gratitude to
our troops in a big way during this country’s most important holiday
season,” said Greg Hewitt, CEO of DHL Express U.S. “It is an important
tradition for all of us in DHL — the chance to work with community
partners and deploy our global shipping network — and one we look
forward to every year. For me personally, it’s one of the best presents
I receive, because it’s a chance to give the gift of thanks to our

Operation Holiday Cheer launches at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, December 5,
when DHL Express ships out the trees, letters, menorahs, gifts and
decorations the company has packed from Long Island-based Dees’ Nursery.
Local community and veterans groups, schools and Nassau County
dignitaries will be on hand — although the most important personage will
undoubtedly be Santa, who will come bearing gifts from DHL. Local
schoolchildren and the Girl Scouts of Nassau County will read aloud
letters they wrote to soldiers. The USO Show Troupe will also make an
appearance, performing a variety of holiday and patriotic songs.

From Dees’, the trees and trimmings will proceed via official police
motorcade to the DHL Gateway facility at JFK International Airport,
where they will fly to the DHL Americas Hub at the Cincinnati/Northern
Kentucky Airport (CVG). There they will be loaded onto a DHL 777
aircraft that travels nonstop to the Middle East.

Local businesses and community organizations generously donated the
holiday trees and gifts. Special Santa shout-outs go to Dees’ Nursery;
Adelis International Security; Adopt-a-Soldier Platoon; and
Proctor-Hopson Post 1896 Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), including VFW
members and its Ladies Auxiliary from across New York State.

DHL Operation Holiday Cheer began in 2004, when the mother of a soldier
who was stationed in Iraq asked Dees’ Nursery if she could buy a
Christmas tree and send it to him. The nursery wanted to donate the tree
but needed help shipping it overseas. Dees’ owner, Tom Di Dominica Sr.,
mentioned his dilemma to local businessman Jim Adelis, whose son also
was stationed in Iraq. Adelis then reached out to DHL Express and the
community, and DHL Operation Holiday Cheer was born. In that first year,
DHL sent 135 trees to our troops, along with lights, decorations,
menorahs and holiday cards.

From that single tree in 2004, DHL Operation Holiday Cheer has since
shipped thousands of trees that Dees’ Christmas tree farm in Maine has
provided, along with thousands of ornaments, decorations, gifts and

Images from last years’ DHL Operation Holiday Cheer event are
available here for download:

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DHL Express U.S.
Media relations
Robert Mintz, +1 425-984-4249