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Press Release

New York, N.Y.  12/04/2014

DHL Brings the Holidays to U.S. Troops Abroad

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

For the 11th consecutive year, DHL Express has teamed up with the New York community to send hundreds of fresh-cut Christmas trees, along with thousands of holiday letters, menorahs, decorations and gifts to U.S. troops serving their country in Afghanistan and Bahrain.

“Through DHL Operation Holiday Cheer, service members stationed overseas can celebrate the holidays with wonderful reminders from home,” said Mike Parra, CEO of DHL Express U.S. “We’re proud to donate our global shipping network and make this season a bit brighter for U.S. troops with this very special, community-donated care package.”

On Monday, December 8, the trees and trimmings will be escorted via police motorcade to the DHL Gateway at JFK International Airport, where community and veterans groups, schools, soldiers and local dignitaries will send off the special shipment of holiday cheer. During the ceremony – which will include a special appearance by Santa bearing gifts – local school children and the Girl Scouts of Nassau County will read aloud letters they wrote to soldiers. The USO Show Troupe also will perform a variety of holiday and patriotic songs.

The holiday trees and gifts were generously provided through donations from New York businesses and community organizations − including 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. All the goods will be packed and shipped courtesy of DHL Express.

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 created. In that first year, 135 trees were sent to our troops, along with lights, decorations, menorahs and holiday cards.

Since 2004, DHL Operation Holiday Cheer has shipped thousands of trees provided by Dees’ Christmas tree farm in Maine, along with thousands of ornaments, decorations, gifts and menorahs.