The Coast Guard and the American Red Cross will place approximately 240 Coast Guard recruits with 79 local-host families for Thanksgiving as part of Operation Fireside Sunday at 11:45 a.m.
Operation Fireside has placed recruits with South Jersey families during the holiday season since 1981. The training center may have more than 600 recruits training to become Coast Guardsmen at any given time who come from all 50 states and U.S. territories. Operation Fireside allows the recruits to celebrate the holiday with their host family while they’re separated from their loved ones during training.
Operation Fireside is coordinated annually by the American Red Cross Southern Shore Chapter in Cape May Court House, N.J. The Red Cross solicits and tracks volunteers and host families, while Training Center Cape May pairs each recruit with a family Christmas Day.