HARTFORD - While the troops are overseas looking out for their fellow Americans, residents of Connecticut are making sure soldiers? families are having a special holiday back home.

Operation ELF (Embracing Lonely Families) is a program that collects toys and distributes them to children of soldiers serving oversees. Gov. Jodi Rell was in the state?s capital to help kick off this year?s toy collection.

?Their loved ones are serving our country,? said Gov. Rell. ?The least we can do is protect their families and let them know that they are all right.? For those interested in donating to Operation ELF, call 860-524-4922.