ROCKY HILL, Conn. (WTNH) – The Town of Rocky Hill is sending off boxes of encouragement and support overseas this week. Dozens of the boxes are heading overseas, and inside, there are gifts and tokens of gratitude for a Navy or U.S. Air Force member.

The project was started by a Rocky Hill town employee.

“The connection here is very personal,” said Melissa Hicks. “So, my family is a multi-generation from World War II on. My father-in-law, my brother served 22 years, and my son is currently serving in the Army.”

Melissa Hicks, the director of Rocky Hill’s Human Services Department, put her passion for the U.S. military into giving back. She launched Operation Christmas Boxes and her fellow colleagues rallied behind this effort.

“We recognize it’s just a very difficult time of year for families, so these boxes are really personalized,” said Lisa Marotta, Rocky Hill Mayor.

Whether it’s candy, thank you notes, or reminders from home, the boxes are all different, but hope to make the same impact of providing some happiness to a brave soldier during the holidays.

“It’s not just the essentials,” said Ray Carpentino, Rocky Hill Town Manager. “We have antlers, holiday glasses, just trying to make them feel a little bit of home.”

Town departments were asked to fill at least one large flat rate box, but some went above and beyond, including the fire department, filling over 20 boxes.

“I was very proud to see when people go above and beyond what’s asked, to think of others and make an effort,” Hicks said.

Monday was the deadline for collecting and sealing the boxes. On Wednesday, they’ll deliver them to the post office to have them shipped off to the Middle East.