2,500 boxes full of Christmas-themed goodies will be making their way to children who have a parent serving overseas this Christmas thanks to support from the Veterans' Foundation.
The tri-service military children’s charity, Little Troopers, will send Christmas Smiles boxes filled with treats, resources and activities, centred around the theme of ‘deployment’, to help support children while their parent is away this Christmas.
Countdown sheets, affirmation cards, ‘X-Ray of Feelings’ worksheets, postcards and crafts activities are all included and will both bring comfort and joy over the festive period.
Louise Fetigan, founder of Little Troopers, explained: “Our Christmas Smiles campaign is all about recognising that Christmas is a particularly difficult time of year to have a parent away from home."
"We want our British Armed Forces children to know that we understand what they are going through and that they deserve to know just how special they are."
“We know the Christmas Smiles boxes will make a big difference to thousands of military children who will be missing their parent over the festive season," she said.
"A huge thank you to the Veterans’ Foundation and Pinnacle Group for helping to make these boxes a reality.”
Veterans' Foundation support means that 2,500 Christmas Boxes will be packed up at Bovington Garrison in early December before being shipped to tri-service units around the country. A small number of boxes will also be posted out to individual families.
David Shaw, Founder and CEO of the Veterans’ Foundation, said; “We are delighted to support this fabulous initiative which will bring smiles and happiness to military children this Christmas.”
The Christmas Smiles boxes are just one part of the Little Troopers Christmas Smiles campaign this year, bringing smiles to thousands of military children who have a parent deployed over the holidays. The charity is also organising free cinema events, an online show and baking event, and giving away panto tickets to military families.
Little Troopers is a registered charity which aims to ensure all British Armed Forces children - no matter where they are living in the world - feel recognised, supported and celebrated, particularly during periods when their serving parent might be deployed or called away from home, or a child has to move home and school due to their parent’s career.
The charity provides resources for military families to use at home, as well as running special projects such as the Little Troopers at School programme, the Little Troopers All Together deployment club and the Little Troopers Therapy Programme.
In 2022, Little Troopers supported more than 16,500 military children through its core work. The Veterans' Foundation has also provided an additional £40,000 grant so that the charity can continue this work over the next two years.
For more information visit www.littletroopers.net