Congregation Beth El in Fairfield assembled "Operation Mitzvah Care Packages" for more than 250 U.S. soldiers this month as part of the spirit of helping others and bringing cheer during Hanukkah and the holidays.

Sharon Strelzer, of Fairfield, spearheaded the program, where Beth El members, religious school students and preschool families from Fairfield, Trumbull, Easton and Westport, donated hundreds of items that were sorted into boxes and shipped to military personnel and chaplains serving in Afghanistan, Iraq, the Persian Gulf and Korea. The children also baked cookies, decorated holiday tins and wrote personal holiday greeting notes to each recipient.

The project was organized under the auspices of the United Synagogues of Conservative Judaism.