Operation Holiday Joy


The Armed Services YMCA believes the importance of a happy family—especially during the holidays. Military life is full of challenges that can strain a family mentally and financially. These strains can often culminate during the holiday season. We strive to make these stresses easier to bear, and to ensure that our military families enjoy the comfort of a Merry Christmas.

One way in which we accomplish this is through our operation Holiday Joy Program. This program is designed to help give a Christmas to families that are in crisis. This is can be especially important to families stationed up in Alaska or overseas that are separated from most of their family and friends during the holidays.

There are many stories and reasons for families needing assistance during the holiday season. The following is just one example. Beth, a Corporal in the US Army, came to us for help shortly after being reassigned due to a separation from her physically abusive husband. Now, unexpectedly a single parent to four children, ranging in age from 14 down to twin one-year-old boys, Beth was severely low on funds. Complicating her situation was the prospect of finding warm clothing for her children, as her reassignment had brought her from warm southern climes to the harshness of Alaska’s winter. Beth’s First Sergeant was familiar with the ASYMCA of Alaska and our Operation Holiday Joy Program. Upon being briefed of her situation, he wasted no time nominating her for the program. Beth arrived at our Welcome Center, unsure what to expect. She left with certificates to buy groceries, gas for her vehicle, and some small gifts for her children.

She was also gifted with a box full of warm clothing for four of her children and some toys as well. She couldn’t stop telling us how much this was helping her out, and how surprised her children would be to have presents on Christmas day. When we helped her out to her car she wiped tears from her face, gave us a huge hug and asked that I pass her appreciation along to all those who made this difficult Christmas so much easier. The ASYMCA knows that life can be difficult, especially for our military members and we have made it our mission to help make it easier for them and their loved ones. In 2012, 46 families were provided with the gift of a Merry Christmas—a gift that would have been otherwise out of their reach.

Be Involved with the Alaska Armed Services YMCA

The Armed Services Y provides free or low-cost youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility programs for junior enlisted military & their families to make military life easier.

Click the links to learn more about how you can be involved: