August 2006 Newsletter
posted on Aug 23 2006 0 Comments
|Operation Gratitude Newsletter
With your generous support, our Patriotic Drive 2006 was an incredible success!! Not only did we send our 150,000th care package, but we sent a total of 41,625 packages to bring our overall tally to 153,047 packages sent since our inception!
Much will be happening for Operation Gratitude over the next few months, including the launch of our 2006 Holiday Drive. We hope you will enjoy reading about all of our events in this Summer Newsletter!
PATRIOTIC DRIVE 2006
The 150,000th Package Arrives in Iraq!
Starting in April and continuing well into the heat of the summer, the fearless Operation Gratitude Volunteers led by the fantastic “Hard Corps” joyfully dedicated themselves to receiving, inspecting and sorting the tens of thousands of donations shipped from more than 3000 collection drives throughout the nation. Through the placement of collection bins and signage at the majority of its more than 800 restaurants nationwide, our Official Drop-Off Partner, Checkers/Rally’s Restaurants collected nearly 200 large boxes of donated gifts weighing a total of more than 4,000 lbs. to send to U.S. Troops through Operation Gratitude.
The gift boxes were filled with items donated by 62 Corporate Friends and Sponsors and thousands of individual donors. Items included Girl Scout Cookies, Flash Drives, Water Bottles, Headsets, DVDs, Music CDs, Disposable Cameras, Energy Drinks and Bars, Snacks, Candy, T-shirts, Socks, Cool-Ties and Fans, AA Batteries, EZ Scores Cards, Phone Cards, Coffee, Popcorn, Sunscreen, Breath Mints, Lotions, Magazines, Pens, Detergent, Personal Letters of Appreciation and various other goodies.
The 150,000th care package was received by Marine Lcpl William James, a 20-year-old rifleman from San Diego assigned to A Company, 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment. Lcpl James received a portable DVD player, DVDs, a flash memory stick, and candies and treats to snack on. The real prize was at the bottom of the box – a Gift Certificate for a stay in a Las Vegas hotel. James said he plans on making good use of the free stay in Las Vegas. “I turn 21 the day our leave block starts when we get back from Iraq,” James said. “So getting the trip to Vegas is pretty convenient.”
THE PACKAGES ARRIVE!!
Troops send emails, letters and pictures
The Operation Gratitude Patriotic Packages arrived at their destinations in record time!! Our thanks once again go out to the wonderful men and women at the Van Nuys Regional U.S. Post Office, joined by Postal Employees from many other offices in the area, who put in numerous overtime hours to ensure that our packages were processed as quickly as possible. And the troops who received the packages have been sending their thanks to all of you:
And from a Sailor:
OPERATION GRATITUDE NEEDS A NEW HOME!
As Holiday Drive Approaches
Our non-profit, all-volunteer program has grown dramatically, now involving more than 2000 local volunteers assembling close to 100,000 care packages annually. The increased operational military needs of the National Guard combined with the amount of assembly and storage space required to accommodate the product for our care packages have resulted in our need to leave the Van Nuys, California National Guard Armory in which we had been operating since November, 2003.
The Holiday Drive packaging will start over the Veterans Day Weekend, November 10-12 and continue through mid-December. We urge all supporters to start organizing their collection drives and letter writing campaigns NOW, as we will need alot of products to fill 40,000+ Holiday Packages! We will start accepting donations as soon as we are in our new facility.
We are looking for all our usual Wish List items of snack and entertainment products. In addition, due to their previous popularity, we are particularly requesting: Computer Flash Drives, DVDs of movies and TV shows, Music CDs and Beef Jerky.
As D.S. wrote above, reading the letters included in our packages is a real highlight of the troops’ day. We urge all supporters to write as many letters as possible; please include your name and address in each letter so the recipients can choose to write back. Teachers: this is a wonderful class project for your students! We have a Letter Writing Flyer available upon request.
Please check the Operation Gratitude website and your emails for announcements about a new location, delivery of donations and Official Drop Off Sites.
MORE WAYS TO BENEFIT THE TROOPS!
Shop, Recycle and Donate at the Same Time
Now you can do all your online shopping at more than 1000 of your favorite stores and websites through the Operation Gratitude Mall. Just click on the Care Clicks link in this Newsletter or on our website, or go to: www.opgratitude.com/shop, and start shopping. Many of the merchants offer significant discounts to Operation Gratitude supporters, and every merchant in the Mall donates back a percentage of your sale to Operation Gratitude! This is a terrific way to send gifts and purchase your own items from the convenience of your desk or laptop, while at the same time supporting our men and women in uniform. It is never too soon to start your Holiday Shopping!
Operation Gratitude Support