Mission Statement & Facts
Operation Gratitude seeks to lift morale in the Military Community by sending care packages addressed to individual Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines deployed overseas, to their children left behind, and to Veterans, First Responders, Wounded Warriors and their Care Givers. Operation Gratitude Care Packages contain food, hygiene products, entertainment and handmade items, plus personal letters of appreciation, all wrapped with good wishes of love and support.
Through Collection Drives, Letter Writing Campaigns, Craft Projects and Financial Donations, Operation Gratitude provides civilians anywhere in America a way to express their respect and appreciation to the men and women of the U.S. Military through active, hands-on Volunteerism.
Operation Gratitude is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, volunteer-based corporation, funded entirely by private donations. For safety and security, the assembling of all packages occurs at the Army National Guard Armory in Van Nuys, California.
Veteran, Wounded Warrior and Care Giver Care Package Programs:
Operation Gratitude works with representatives at Military hospitals, Wounded Warrior Transition Units, VA Hospitals and Veterans’ Organizations to provide care packages for Veterans, Wounded Warriors and their Care Givers to let them know they are never forgotten and because it is never too late to say, “Thank You.”
In addition, Operation Gratitude sends “First Responder Care Packages” to veterans who volunteer to assist with natural disaster and crisis relief efforts world-wide, to thank them for their continued service.
Battalion Buddy Program:
In cooperation with Family Readiness Officers and battalion leaders nationwide, Operation Gratitude provides special stuffed toys – known as Battalion Buddies – to the sons and daughters of U.S. military personnel as their units prepare to deploy.
Our special “Battalion Buddy” care packages contain a large, cuddly stuffed animal, along with other special snacks and items. The Battalion Buddy packages are given to each child at their parent’s pre-deployment or farewell event so the child has something to hug while their Mommy or Daddy is away.
The Battalion Buddy Program is designed to serve and encourage the young children of deploying troops and offer them some degree of comfort while their parent is far away, serving their country.
Who We Serve:
Operation Gratitude sends packages to Wounded Warriors, Veterans and Deployed members of all Military branches: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, and to units from all states and territories. While we will send at least 100,000 care packages per year, we know the recipients share with their comrades, so we project that at least 250,000 service members will be directly touched by our program annually. In addition, the impact of our program on morale is felt generally throughout the Military (2.7 million people) and by the loved ones of those who serve (several million more).
Demographics of Population Served::
The demographics of Operation Gratitude recipients mirror the overall makeup of our Armed Forces, which in turn closely reflect the American population. The 2008 published survey results:
Native American: 2%
Other (describe): 5% Declined to Specify
The gender demographics of our recipients also reflect the overall makeup of our Armed Forces, which is approximately 85% male and 15% female.
Operation Gratitude is a California corporation, granted 501(c)(3) exempt status by the IRS, and recognized as a charitable organization by the California Franchise Tax Board.
More than 97% of all donations are devoted to Program Services. Donated funds are used to pay for production, shipping and communication expenses. We do not pay for fundraising campaigns or events.
Operation Gratitude is proud to have received a 5-Star rating and earned the Guide Star Exchange Seal, demonstrating our commitment to transparency.
The BBB Wise Giving Report issued October 2013 determined that we met all 20 standards for Charitable Accountability.
This is a tribute to the patriotic spirit of the many key volunteers who devote themselves to the organization without pay in order to express appreciation to the Military.
Operation Gratitude is proud to employ Veterans to fulfill key management functions, and to partner with “The Mission Continues” Fellows Program to welcome post-9-11 wounded and disabled Veterans as Volunteers in leadership roles at Operation Gratitude. We provide the Veterans an excellent opportunity to reenter the civilian environment within the comfort zone of a Military facility, surrounded by exceptionally supportive and respectful volunteers and co-workers.
All contents of Operation Gratitude packages are donated by individuals and groups through collection drives, or by companies that donate their own products. In-kind donations of products and services averages $12 Million/year. Our cash budget for 2013, to ship up to 150,000 packages, is $2.25 Million. Our overall cost to assemble and ship each package is $15; the donated contents of each package are worth $75-$100.
Tax Returns, Audited Financial Statements and the Annual Report are available online at www.guidestar.org or by clicking on the Download links above. To read reviews of Operation Gratitude, click: http://greatnonprofits.org/reviews/operation-gratitude-inc/
For more information or to receive hard copies of our financial materials, please email: email@example.com or mail a request to: Operation Gratitude; 16444 Refugio Rd; Encino, CA 91436
Martha “Marty” Martin, Interim Board Chair
Richard E. Saklad, Treasurer
First Lieutenant Jordan Blashek, USMC
Carolyn Blashek, Founder & CEO
Cheryl Zerah, Corporate Secretary & Chief Financial Officer
Operation Gratitude will never sell, rent or otherwise release supporters’ information to anyone. We will use your email address and/or phone number only in regard to questions about donations and to email our Newsletters (3-4x/year) and Press Releases (when exciting events occur). If you do not want to receive these notices, please email OpGrat@gmail.com
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