Operation Raider Holiday Cheer back to spread joy among airmen

RAPID CITY, S.D.– The 28th Bomb Wing at Ellsworth Air Force Base is looking to spread some holiday cheer to airmen in the dorms.

Operation Raider Holiday Cheer DeadlineOperation Raider Holiday Cheer kicked off Sunday, November 7 at the Rushmore Crossing Sam’s Club.

This year, volunteers will be in the community accepting donations of individually-wrapped snacks and store-brought cookies to deliver to the 750+airmen living in the dorms.

“What originally started as a cookie drive last year during COVID was expanded to more of an overall effort to bring different snacks and more than just cookies,” airman spouse Alyssa Silko explained. “So we accept crackers and trail mix and all of that to actually give a bag of goodies instead of just a box of cookies to the airmen.”

Volunteers will be out at Sam’s Club November 14 and 21 to collect food donations.

Drop-off locations are another option. People can bring them to: Black Hills Community Bank downtown, Elevate Rapid City, and on the Ellsworth Base. The base has drop-off locations for both civilian and non-civilian community members to bring their donations.

The program comes in the wake of a successful Halloween event and last year’s holiday deliveries.

“So we just did a Halloween drive where we delivered candy to the airmen living in the dorms and that was super well-received,” Silko recalled. “So we’re just really hoping to build on that with this Operation Raider Holiday Cheer. Last year it was really well-received and people are excited to just get a little bit of cheer around the holiday season.

To find out more on the event and see a list of desired items, click here.

To volunteer with collecting or distributing donations, click here.

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News