Operation Santa Claus

Every year, thanks to donations from individuals and corporations in Canada, we deliver holiday packages to Canadian Armed Forces members worldwide who are deployed away from loved ones during the holiday season.

We are proud of our military, the things they have done, and all that they continue to do for us. At holiday time it is particularly important that our soldiers know they are always in our thoughts.

The Operation Santa Claus care packages contain Canadian comforts of home and provide our military with comfort in knowing that the nation recognizes their dedication and sacrifice. 

Op Santa relies solely upon donations from individuals and Corporate Canada. Each year from January to March, we actively seek these gifts to keep the Christmas spirit alive.

You can help by making a donation today!

Canada has a long and proud tradition of assisting with UN Peacekeeping missions. However, helping those less fortunate around the world comes at a price, and soldiers being separated from their families during the holidays is unfortunately often one of them.

In 1991, three soldiers who had experienced firsthand how difficult the holiday season separated from family could be during deployments decided to make a difference. LCol Dave Marshall, Maj Roger Gauthier and Maj Bert Larsen (G1 Services 3) decided that if Canadian soldiers couldn’t be at home for the holidays, perhaps they could bring a piece of home to them.

Given the thousands of deployed men and women at any given time, completing this task alone would have been impossible. So they created a committee, and began reaching out to their community and local businesses to see who might be willing to help. To their surprise and delight, gifts and support began pouring in from everyday Canadians who wanted to support the cause. Eventually, they needed a warehouse in Montreal to house this generosity, and there, they partnered with Army Cadets and Scouts who packaged all of the gifts to be sent overseas.

Sending presents to deployed men and women is no easy task, and there were a great deal of technical challenges to overcome. Finally, the committee identified a ship  leaving from Quebec City that could convey the gifts, so they filled up trucks to speed them to Quebec.  

Sadly, upon arrival, they found out that the ship had already departed without its precious cargo. The committee was not willing to give up, they knew these gifts were too important, a way to lift the spirits of our troops and let them know that people were thinking of them at home during the holidays. Then a miracle happened, after a flurry of phone calls, the ship was convinced to turn back to port and the gifts were loaded aboard.

With that shipment, Operation Santa Clause was born, and every year since for the past 25 years, this tradition has been kept alive through the generosity of the Canadian people. Each year Op Santa delivers a small piece of hope, home and love during the holiday season to soldiers who have given up so much for duty, honour and their country.

Operation Santa Claus is a yearlong effort that could not be completed without the help of generous individuals and the support of Corporate Canada. Each year, from January to March, Operation Santa Claus actively seeks and relies solely on donations from individuals and Canadian Corporations to keep the spirit of the holidays alive, and supply packages to deployed troops. Here is a timeline of the Operation Santa Claus Program:

​If you are a company, corporation or service club and wish to donate items to the OP Santa Claus Program, please complete and submit the Donation S​ubmission Form​.


Over the past 25 years Operation Santa has helped provide a piece of home to our men and women serving overseas during the holiday season.

Here are just a few of the testimonials from our soldiers about the impact Operation Santa Claus packages have had on them:

I wish to thank you for the heartfelt and thoughtful Christmas packages you prepared and sent to each of us deployed in Eastern Europe this past Christmas season. The men and woman at this mission very much appreciated the gifts and the wide array of goodies it contained. There is no doubt in my mind that it helped bring everyone a bit of holiday cheer while they were away from loved ones this holiday season.
As you are well aware it is not easy being away from home for extended periods of time, and care packages often help to ease the burden and help a soldier feel more connected and thought of during their time away.

- Operation Reassurance 2016

I found the care package to be outstanding and I wouldn’t change anything! The package was full of significant items and I was really impressed with the thought that was placed into everything in the package.  All of these items were met with a warm reception by all soldiers and nothing went to waste because if a soldier preferred certain items over another, we gathered stock for consumption during our weekly movie night. For a short period of time, it was a little piece of home that made every soldier feel significant.  We cannot convey enough thanks to all involved with this venture.

- Operation Impact 2016

Thank you for the gift boxes and from all of us here, thank you for brightening our holiday season, it is appreciated! All gift boxes were handed out by our designated Santa as part of the Christmas dinner. All gifts were well receive, thank you again!

- Operation Proteus 2014

Operation Santa Claus Survey:
If you were the recipient of an Operation Santa Claus package during your 2017 deployment, we encourage you to fill out the survey and provide your feedback. Your comments will help improve the program in the future.
Please complete and submit the Operation Santa Claus Survey HERE 


Get involved with Operation Santa Claus and help provide a piece of home to our deployed troops overseas during the holiday season!
We look to Corporate Canada to provide bulk items to help fill packages with gifts for our deployed troops. Individuals are also encouraged to provide products or monetary donations that will go towards the purchase of gifts for the Operation Santa Claus packages.

If you are a company, corporation, service club or individual and wish to donate items to the Operation Santa Claus Program, please complete and submit the Donation Submission Form.
Once received, your submission will be evaluated and we will then contact you to discuss your donation. If you require additional information or have any questions regarding the Operation Santa Claus Program, please email: opsanta@cfmws.com
If you would like to provide a monetary donation that will go towards the purchase of products to fill the Operation Santa Claus packages, CLICK HERE.