The Connecticut Funeral Directors Association’s (CFDA) statewide collection drive for Connecticut National Guard’s Operation ELF’s (Embracing Lonely Families) and Connecticut Children’s Medical Center is in full swing and will continue through next Wednesday, December 5th.

Riverview Funeral Home, 390 River Road, is among 44 funeral homes across the state that are collecting donations of unwrapped toys and gift cards from the public. In addition, on Thursday, Dec. 6, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., people can drop off these items to CFDA’s 130th annual Convention at the Red Lion Hotel, 100 Berlin Road (Route 372), Cromwell.

“We are pleased open our doors to Connecticut residents and encourage them to bring in donations of gift cards and toys,” said Edward J. Sheehy Jr., president of the Connecticut Funeral Directors Association. “We hope that our more than 40 convenient community sites will supplement the collection efforts of both Operation ELF and Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. We hope that state residents will stop in a funeral home near them and donate an item that will mean so much to another Connecticut family.”

All gift cards, toys and funds collected by the Connecticut Funeral Directors Association will be delivered directly to Operation ELF and Connecticut Children’s Medical Center before the holidays.

Operation ELF welcomes gift cards of any dollar value to grocery, department stores, home supply stores, gas stations, and pharmacies, as well as unwrapped toys for young people of any age. These items will be given to families of Connecticut National Guard soldiers and airmen who are deployed during the holidays and throughout the year.

Connecticut Children’s Medical Center welcomes new and unwrapped toys that are appropriate for hospitalized infants, children, adolescents or teenagers and do not pose a safety hazard, such as those with sharp edges or small, removable or easily breakable parts. These toys will be distributed to patients around the holidays and at different times of the year.

Donations of gift cards and toys may be dropped off at Riverview Funeral Home during regular business hours now through Dec. 5.