Every year during the holiday season, Armed Services YMCA Hawai`i collects and distributes generous donations of food, commissary gift cards, and toys to military families in need through Operation Holiday Joy. Donations of food and gifts are collected by community partners, such as military units, businesses, civic clubs, church groups and schools, and dropped off to our offices in November and December where teams of volunteers prepare Operation Holiday Joy baskets full of delicious food and presents. The baskets are then picked up by a command representative and gifted to military families who are experiencing extreme hardship or financial difficulty.
Last year, through generous community support, approximately 3,000 military family members in need were gifted Operation Holiday Joy Baskets during Thanksgiving and Christmas. So far this year, Thanksgiving Operation Holiday Joy 2021 has helped close to 1,200 military family members.
Operation Holiday Joy is open to military families from all seven branches of service, including the National Guard and Reserves.
-- Scroll to the bottom of the page to see photos of this year's Thanksgiving Operation Holiday Joy --
All military commands, chaplains, other military family support agencies, and school counselors are welcome to help identify families in need of assistance.
The eligibility emphasis is to serve junior enlisted individuals and their families. However, any military family experiencing hardship or financial difficulty will be considered.
• E-5 and below – single parents or couples (with or without children) experiencing hardship or financial difficulties
• E-6 and above – couples with children experiencing hardship or financial difficulties
1) Download the Operation Holiday Joy referral form (.xlsx file).
2) Return completed referral form your local ASYMCA Hawai`i branch by December 10, 2021
• ASYMCA Hawai`i at Wheeler Army Airfield (WAAF) - email@example.com
• ASYMCA Hawai`i at Marine Corps Base Hawai`i (MCBH) - firstname.lastname@example.org
• ASYMCA Hawai`i at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) - email@example.com
3) We'll be in touch to confirm receipt or your referral form and with more information.
Volunteer Opportunities - We Need Your Help
Thank you for considering ways to help military families!
Military units, businesses, civic clubs, church groups and schools are invited to become a community partner by offering help during the holidays. There are three ways to help.
1) Sign-up to volunteer during the weeks of December 13 - 17 to help assemble food baskets.
2) Organize a monetary contribution drive to raise funds to purchase supplemental items that weren't covered by donations.
3) Organize a food or gift drive! Units have turned their food drives into canned goods ruck marches in pervious years.
Items for Operation Holiday Joy Food Drive (November & December)
• Canned/Dry Gravy Mixes
|• Boxed Mashed Potatoes
• Onion Strings
• Jell-O Pudding Mixes
• Fruit/Pumpkin Pie Filling
• Packaged Pie Crust
• Mini Marshmallows
• Cake/Cookie Mixes
• Commissary Gift Cards ($25)
Suggested Items for Christmas Operation Holiday Joy (December Only)
|• New Educational Toys
• New Puzzles/Books/Coloring Pens/Pencils
• New Dolls/Trucks
• New Character Blankets/Pillows
• Food gift cards (McDonald’s)
If you are interested in helping in one of these way or would like to suggest another way to help, please contact your local
ASYMCA Hawai`i branch director - contact information below.
Or if you'd like to help in another way, please consider a donation to Armed Services YMCA Hawaii. Learn more HERE or
|11/15 - 12/10||Christmas Operation Holiday Joy Food Drive + Referral Period|
|12/10||Last day for command/unit to submit Christmas referral forms to local ASYMCA Hawai`i branch|
|12/10||Last day to drop-off food, toys, and commissary gift card donations at your local ASYMCA Hawai`i branch|
|12/13 - 12/17||Volunteers assemble Christmas Operation Holiday Joy Baskets at local ASYMCA Branch|
|12/20 - 12/22||Command/Unit representatives pick up Christmas Operation Holiday Joy baskets from local
ASYMCA Hawai`i branch and distribute to families before Christmas.
Please contact your local ASYMCA Hawai`i branch directly.
• ASYMCA Hawai`i at Wheeler Army Airfield - call (808) 624-5645 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
• ASYMCA Hawai`i at Marine Corps Base Hawai`i - call (808) 254-4719 or email email@example.com
• ASYMCA Hawai`i at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam - call (808) 473-3398 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanksgiving 2021 Operation Holiday Joy Photos