|Operation Gratitude Newsletter
Heading Into The Holidays
We recently received this letter from a soldier echoing the sentiments of many men and women in uniform who receive Operation Gratitude packages:
“I am a service member in the Army and received one of your care packages. I just needed to thank you very much for such kindness. I can’t begin to express to you how much that one box affected me when I received it. How caring and thoughtful a gesture such as yours has been for me! Thanks especially to the children who sent drawings and their notes of thank you. They were very inspiring! Again, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Sincerely, SPC A.V.”
HOLIDAY DRIVE 2005
Just Around The Corner…
We invite you to join our 3rd Annual Operation Gratitude Holiday Drive to send 30,000 care packages addressed to individual service members. The Holiday Drive kicks off over the Veterans’ Weekend, November 10-13 and will continue during the Thanksgiving Weekend, November 25-27 and throughout December.
Urge your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and colleagues to organize Collection Drives and Letter Writing Campaigns. Help us reach our goal of sending the 100,000th Operation Gratitude care package by year end!!
We will be accepting Wish List items and Letters from October 15-December 15. Please send your donations to:
Operation Gratitude~~ 21100 Lassen Street, Chatsworth, CA 91311
OR drop them off at your local participating Jeep dealer.
How You Can Get Involved
We Need Your Help!
During the upcoming Holiday Season, more than 180,000 U.S. troops will be deployed overseas, away from loved ones and the comforts of home. Operation Gratitude will send gifts of good cheer and gratitude to tens of thousands of those Soldiers, Marines, Airmen and Sailors in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other theatres of operation. Every American can participate in our Holiday Drive—by:
#1: Writing personal letters
#2: Providing items from the Wish List, and dropping them off at your local participating Jeep dealer or shipping directly to us
#3: Joining our enthusiastic team of volunteers in Van Nuys to assemble and ship the packages during November and December (email our Volunteer Coordinator for more details: pennyalfonso @yahoo.com )
#4: By donating funds to pay the overseas shipping expenses of the packages
By joining together we can ensure that at least 30,000 troops, plus their comrades, will have a package to open for the Holidays and a reminder that people at home appreciate their sacrifice!
What We Are Looking For
Chaplains and Commanders have sent us special requests for the men and women who are currently deployed. This year, we are especially looking for:
- Computer Flash Drives
- Hand-held Games
- Beanie Babies
- AA Batteries
- Energy Bars
- Sunflower Seeds
- Trail Mix
For the complete Wish List, please visit the www.operationgratitude.com website. And as SPC A.V.’s letter says, nothing could be better than writing lots of personal letters of thanks to our heroes! Teachers, scout leaders and parents: This is a great project for your children. Please be sure to include an email and mailing address in every letter so the recipients can write back.
We thank our many generous donors for their past and present kindness. The cost of sending each Operation Gratitude package overseas averages $10-15 Financial donations to Operation Gratitude, a 501 (c)(3), all-volunteer, non-profit organization, are devoted to shipping costs and are tax deductible. If you wish to join our donor network, your check, made out to Operation Gratitude, can be mailed to:
Operation Gratitude~~ 16444 Refugio Road~~ Encino, California 91436
Please mail checks separately from cartons of items. All financial donations will be acknowledged. If you would like to receive an acknowledgment for donated items, please include your name and address inside the shipment. Acknowledgments will be sent within three months.
Operation Gratitude welcomes our new and returning Corporate Sponsors: CVS, Target, Newman’s Own, Walker’s Shortbread, Covey Run and Turner Road Wineries, Jeep and San Francisco Bay Coffee Co. We are deeply appreciative of the generosity of these great companies, each of which has donated a minimum of $10,000 or 10,000 items.
YOUR HOLIDAY SHOPPING CAN BENEFIT THE TROOPS!
The Operation Gratitude Online Shopping Portal connects you to more than 1000 online merchants that provide specials and discounts to our supporters and that also donate a portion of your online purchases back to Operation Gratitude. This is a great way to do your Holiday shopping and support our troops at the same time!
MORE WORDS FROM OUR TROOPS
“I am sending you this postcard thanking you for what you have done for my life. You changed the way I feel about our country. There really are people that love us and you have shown me this. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. LCPL P.M.”
“If you only knew how much it means to receive a letter or package from home. For a very short time it allows you to get away from the life of a soldier, to think about the great things waiting at home. I have been married happily for 10 years and have two wonderful children. I miss them everyday but truly believe in what we are doing here in the fight against terrorism to maintain the freedom on the home front that we take for granted everyday. It is not until you are taken away from the things that mean the most that you truly appreciate what you have. I thank you so much for your package and hope that you don’t mind I have shared these things with all my fellow soldiers. Your support is the fuel that keeps the engine of the American soldier running. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for thinking of me. Thank you. 1LT J(JJ)W”
“It is always a joy to get mail and packages from people who care. It has been inspiring to our Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors, and Marines as well as the allied officers (British, French, and Canadian) who see the support from the United States first hand. They are here serving side by side with us in our fight to make Afghanistan’s future a bright one. Your contribution to the War on Terror cannot be under- stated. What seems to you as a small token of appreciation can seem so BIG on this side of the world. Your support and pride in us is what makes us proud to do what we do as Soldiers. I have personally seen eyes light up and smiles beam across their faces. We are encouraged daily by citizens like you who take the time to share your patriotism and pride with us. We are eternally grateful. Thank you for your prayers and God bless you. Sincerely, CPT D.W.”
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