Following the four days of Operation Christmas Drop, which delivered a total of 15 packages to Koror, the Office of the Governor in collaboration with the 11th Koror State Legislature distributed the goodwill items to selected residences in Koror’s 12 hamlets.
The 15 packages, each weighing between 400 and 600 pounds, contained supplies such as canned goods, dried packaged food, coffee, household items, hygiene and baby products, medical supplies, educational materials, and toys.
After the dropped items were collected by Koror State Rangers at Meyuns Sea Plane Ramp, they were sorted for single home use and repackaged at Koror State Government. Then, the legislators from Koror’s 12 hamlets collected and distributed the items to families most in need.
Koror State has stressed that the recipients of the gifts were chosen based on “need, vulnerability, and the purpose to improve livelihoods”.
“The support and aid brought by Operation Christmas Drop has been pivotal to support the state’s effort to help the community during this challenging COVID-19 time, and bring greater meaning to the Spirit of the Holiday Season for the people,” Koror State said in a press release.
Operation Christmas Drop, which delivered gifts to Koror for the first time this year, involved the dropping of bundles tied to parachutes over Meyuns on December 6, 7, 9, and 10 from three US Air Force C-130J Super Hercules aircrafts. Three bundles were delivered in every drop, with an extra drop occurring on the final day.
Other islands which received drops include Peleliu, Angaur, Kayangel, Sonsorol, and Pulo Anna, with every state organizing its own distribution. Peleliu distributed gifts to children last night at a “Christmas Carol” ceremony, while Kayangel delivered gifts to every household based on a “lucky number” system.
Koror State thanked the US Air Force, US Ambassador John Hennessey-Niland, and the Office of the Governor, where designated directors organized the water and ground logistics in taking custody of the goodwill drops.
“Koror State Government and the Koror community extends their sincere gratitude and appreciation for all the hard work, dedication, and support provided by the US Ambassador, His Excellency John Hennessey-Niland and his wife, Mrs. Julie Hennessey-Niland, US Embassy-Palau, and the US Pacific Air Forces for this remarkable humanitarian assistance,” the press release said.
US Ambassador Niland has called the drop the “longest-running exercise that the US does anywhere in the world”. The Christmas tradition dates back to 1952, and aims to bring humanitarian assistance to islands throughout the Micronesian region.