9th Annual Navy Christmas Project
Welcome To The 2019
9th Annual Navy Christmas Project
This year we are sending Christmas gift bags to the USS Sterett ‐ which is a guided missile destroyer with 300 servicemen and women aboard. Once again we are also sending gift bags to the USS Nimitz ‐ a Supercarrier and one of the largest warships in the world.
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The Story

Learn about why we run this project.

As some of you know, our youngest son Nate joined the United States Navy in March 2011. After graduating from Boot Camp, he was ordered to report to the USS Eisenhower in Norfolk, Virginia. Nate left on his first deployment to the Middle East in June 2012 and was not expected back until sometime in 2013. That's when the reality of being parents of those that serve hit home for Dave & I. Not being able to have all of the family together for the holidays is heart-breaking. After Nate deployed, I went online searching for a support group of other mothers in the same boat (no pun intended). I joined a group called Navy4Moms. Each year this group chooses a ship that is deployed over Christmas and then works to get those servicemen and women a Christmas gift bag.

As luck would have it, the USS Eisenhower, Nate's ship, was chosen that year to be the recipient of the gifts. Dave and I decided to do 200 of the bags personally. (Actually, I decided that Dave would like to help me do the 200 bags.)As I was getting things together for what we committed to do, I noticed online that the group was having trouble getting the 4700 bags needed for everyone on the ship. The "Mom in Charge" of the project told me that if not enough gift bags are sent, the ship holds a lottery for the bags, which means some people don't get a gift. I got a lump in my throat thinking about a sailor, possibly my son, not having anything to open on Christmas morning when stationed overseas away from family and friends.

Dave and I decided to make this a company project and commit to 1,000 gift bags to try and make sure everyone on that ship got something to open on Christmas morning. Our whole staff pitched in, as did the family and friends we contacted. Everyone rallied and put the gift bags together in 2 days, handwrote 127 custom forms in triplicate for the post office, and we had 11 volunteers putting together over 1,000 gift bags, packing them into boxes, drove them over the to the post office, where we stood in line for 3 hours because, well, it's the post office after all, and that's just how long it takes.

What started as a small way one proud Colorado mom could be a part of her son's Christmas while he was away serving his country has become this annual project we love to do each year. Dave and I know that Nate's service in the Navy, while not a small sacrifice for our family, pales in comparison to what many service members and their families endure. Lucky for us, that year the Eisenhower was ordered home to prepare for an extended deployment in January, which meant that Nate might be able to be home for Christmas after all. That year the ship's Chaplain decided to give the gifts out early to boost morale for Thanksgiving instead.

Each year since that 1st project, we've continued this tradition. Each year we are humbled by the response we get from everyone that helps us by donating both time and money to make Christmas a little better for someone else. Reading the thank-you notes from those onboard the ships makes everyone feel so good because they can see what a difference they have made for someone else. If you would like to get the same feeling, click on either of the Donate forms above. Thank you, and Merry Christmas!

The thank-you notes we received that 1st year from the individuals aboard the ship made us realize that this was a project we would continue to do for a long time! And the great news that year was our son Nate arrived home for Christmas on December 22, which, of course, made it a wonderful Christmas for our family!

Thank you,
Laurie Gallegos

The History

Learn more about the history of our project.

  • Christmas 2020

    9th Annual Navy Christmas Project

    This year we were assigned to the USS Sterett and the USS Nimitz. We hope to send several hundred bags to both ships.

  • Christmas 2019

    8th Annual Navy Christmas Project

    This year we were assigned to USS Abraham Lincoln and the USS Leyte Gulf! Our goal is to provide over 1000 Christmas bags between both ships.

  • Christmas 2018

    7th Annual Navy Christmas Project

    For Christmas 2018 we supported the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). We sent 1,000 Christmas bags that year.

  • Christmas 2017

    6th Annual Navy Christmas Project

    For Christmas 2017 we will be supporting the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), which was recently deployed from San Diego, CA. Our goal is to send 1,000 Gift Bags. We will also be sending 100 Gift Bags to the USS Carl Nimitz (CVN 68) by special request of Michael Flosi ABH1. We need to have all of the bags out in the mail by mid November. We will be looking for volunteers to help us stuff the bags and boxes after work, stay tuned for more information.

  • Christmas 2016

    5th Annual Navy Christmas Project

    For Christmas 2016 we supported the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69). Our goal was to send 1,000 Christmas bags. We successfully sent all of the bags out in the mail by November 12, 2016 and had great support from volunteers.

  • Christmas 2015

    4th Annual Navy Christmas Project

    Last year we were assigned the U.S.S. Harry S. Truman! Your support exceeded our expections and had a lot of help and met our goal.

  • Christmas 2014

    3rd Annual Navy Christmas Project

    For Christmas 2014 we supported the USS Carl Vinson, a Super Carrier, with over 6000 crew members aboard. We had great volunteers helping with the bags and boxes after work on the 19th, 20th and 21st of November and we got everything to the post office by Saturday the 22nd to make sure the gifts arrived in time for Christmas.

  • Christmas 2013

    2nd Annual Navy Christmas Project

    In 2013, we committed to another 1000 gift bags for our 2nd Annual Christmas Navy project and this time the gift bags were sent to the USS Boxer, which is an amphibious assault ship, and the USS HarryTruman, another air craft carrier. We put together a shopping list again and had an outpouring of support from people here at the branch, along with several of our vendor partners, as well as many family and friends around the country. Like the year before, the Thank you notes and E-mails we receive from those on deployment really do make you feel as if you have touched the lives of those that are sacrificing so much for our safety and freedom.

  • Christmas 2012

    1st Annual Navy Christmas Project

    Dave and I decided to make this a company project and commit to 1000 gift bags to make sure everyone on that ship got something to open on Christmas morning. So with the help of our staff and the many family and friends we contacted, we were able to pull this off. Everyone rallied and put the gift bags together in 2 days, handwrote 127 custom forms in triplicate for the post office, and we had 11 volunteers putting together over 1000 gift bags, packing them into 127 boxes, drove them over the to the post office, where stood in line for 3 hours because, well, it’s the post office after all, and that’s just how long it takes.

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Photo Gallery

View photos from our cause.

Thank You Letters

Commander, A.B. KOY


Thank you so much for your generous donation of the 330 Holiday Gift Bags offered while USS STERETT was deployed to Fifth Fleet. The time and dedication you took brought joy to our Sailors onboard. These gift bags have been distributed to each STERETT member just in time for the holiday season! Please accept my sincere gratitude. With appreciation for your support and thoughtfulness at the holidays, along with a sincere wish for a wonderful year ahead from our STERRETT family!

Petty Officer Weihs, John

USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71)

I just wanted to thank you and everyone else who took the time to put together all of those care packages for us. Things like that really make a difference and bring up the moral around the ship. It means a lot to know everyone back home is thinking about us, we really appreciate everything yall do! I hope you have a wonderful Holiday season and a Happy New Year! If you could, please pass my thanks to all that contributed! Thank you again!

AO1 (AW) Camarlinghi, Kevin

USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71)

I just wanted to say thank you for the bag of snacks and candy it really made my day so thank you to everybody that was a part of putting this together I know that this had helped put a smile on my face.

HT2 HillN

USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71)

My name is HT2 Hill, I am a forward deployed sailor attached to the USS Theodore Roosevelt. I received a care package today and the note enclosed had this email address attached along with a list of individuals who sent the package. I just wanted to take a moment and tell you how much I really genuinely appreciate your kindness. This time of year it can be especially tough to be out on a deployment, but packages like the ones you but together help remind us all that we are not alone, and we are not forgotten. May the holidays find you and your loved ones happy and safe.

D. B. Thames

USS Carl Vinson CVN 70

Thank you for the care packages you sent to the Sailors on board USS Carl Vinson. The items you sent were received with great delight and appreciation across the decks, boosting the crew’s moral and spirits. We are so grateful for your kindness. Thank you again for your thoughtful generosity.

LCDR Timothy Yeich

USS Carl Vinson CVN 70

I am writing to thank you, and your many volunteers, for the boxes you graciously sent to the Sailors in my department. Your kindness and generosity have helped bring a little piece of home to them this holiday season. It reminds them that people care about the sacrifices they, and their families, make day-after-day.

FCSN Fernandez, USN

USS Carl Vinson CVN 70

Today in our daily quarters we received your package. I'm emailing you to let you know that I'm very thankful. This has boosted my morale a lot. It's hard to be away from family in the holidays. Take care.

LCDR Steve Folsom

USS Dwight D. Eisenhower CVN 69

I just wanted to write a thank you email to express my and my Sailor's gratitude for the thoughtful gesture in sending us the care packages for the holiday season. It is hard being away from family and friends during the holidays and your sending of the packages takes away a bit of the sting and brings a smile to the faces of the Sailor. We have been away from our families since June 2012 and we all miss them dearly. It is something that I have now experienced for ten deployments and have become used to it however some of the Sailors are on their first deployment. It is especially meaningful for them. I know it is not much but I felt I should write to you and let you know that the packages arrived safely and are being dispersed all throughout the ship.


USS Dwight D. Eisenhower CVN 69

I’m a sailor onboard the almighty USS Dwight D. Eisenhower super carrier, currently deployed on the Persian Gulf since June 20th until March 22nd, 2013. I’m originally from Brazil and just recently I earned my citizenship after arriving here 8 years ago with just 40 dollars inside of a Bible. Like our forefathers, I came to this land pursuing happiness and the universal right for freedom. I found both! Today, my wife Daniella and I have a place to live that we can call “Our Home” along with other fruits of our combined hard work. What I found also was none of this is free and takes hard work and faith. I know I wasn’t born in this land and the only way I found to try to give something back is defending it. I wasn’t born here, I chose to be here. I swore to defend the Country that received me with open arms and warm heart. This is my creed, my truth.

AM1 (AW) Moore

USS Carl Vinson CVN 70

We just want to say thank you for the Santa gift bags. We really appreciate it.

Airman Cabral

USS Carl Vinson CVN 70

Currently our ship is on deployment in the middle east. I wanted to write you this email, letting you know we have received your gift bags. It is very heart warming knowing that people are thinking about us back at home. Thank you so much for your support and taking time to put us together gift bags and gives us some holiday cheer.

Jude Ekpen (USNAVY)

USS Carl Vinson CVN 70

I’m sending this email on behave of myself and other sailors that received the Christmas package from you guys. It shows we are being appreciated and loved back home. I am very thankful for the loofah because I mistakenly left mine in the head (rest room) and it was thrown away and the ship store doesn’t carry any so I have been using a wash cloth to shower with. Its so amazing how little things we take for granted can be so important to someone else. Thanks for thinking about us. We wish you guys and your family a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous 2015 to come.

LT Phil Torem

USS Carl Vinson CVN 70

I would like to express my deepest personal thanks to all involved in sending Holiday Care Packages to the Sailors onboard the USS CARL VINSON (CVN 70) It is impossible for us to do what we do while deployed, especially during the holiday season without support from back home and I wanted to express how thankful we are and let you know that your efforts make a difference out here on the tip of the spear. On behalf of the GOLD EAGLE Team, thank you once again.

AM1 (AW) Moore

USS Carl Vinson CVN 70

I want to start off by saying thank you to you and everyone who played a part in bringing holiday joy to a ship full of sailors on a long 10-month deployment. The care packages and the items they contained were greatly appreciated by everyone on board. Thank you once again, Happy New Years.

PRC(AW/SW) Peter Petroski

USS Carl Vinson CVN 70

We received some Christmas care packages today and I wanted to say how they boosted the moral in my work center today. Thank You very much for taking the time out to remember us and sending some Holiday Joy. I haven been doing this for over 23 years now and will retire in May of 2015. I have been away many Holidays, Birthdays, and celebrations. Bless you and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

HM3 Clara Aldenocoe

USS Carl Vinson CVN 70

I received your Christmas package the other day. I am stationed on the USS Carl Vinson and we have been deployed in the Arabian Gulf for four months. I don't have enough or the right words to express my gratitude for your package and more importantly for your thoughts. It is difficult being so far from home for the holidays, so thank you! I hope your holidays are filled with family and joy.

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