HOLIDAY DRIVE UPDATE AND BREAKING NEWS!
posted on Nov 20 2006 0 Comments
Operation Gratitude 2006 Holiday Drive Update
The Operation Gratitude 2006 Holiday Drive kicked off over the Veteran’s Weekend and was a huge success! More than 1000 volunteers assembled, labeled and shipped 17,180 packages in just two days!! What a record- setting pace!
Contributing to this success were the scores of volunteers, including a record number of students and scouts. We also were privileged to host many organized groups of volunteers from large and small employers and national and local companies, as well as countless individuals who just wanted to spread a little holiday magic and put a smile on the faces of America’s troops who are away from home at this time of the year.
BREAKING NEWS!!! Scroll down….
There is still time to join our 4th Annual Operation Gratitude Holiday Drive to send at least 50,000 care packages addressed to individual service members. The Holiday Drive will continue during the Thanksgiving Weekend, November 24 – 25 and select weekends throughout December.
We need donations! 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 200,000th Operation Gratitude care package by year end!!
We will be accepting Wish List items and Letters through December 15. Please send your donations to:
Operation Gratitude/California Army National Guard
17330 Victory Boulevard
Van Nuys, CA 91406
Attn: Charlie Othold-818.437.6201
Operation Gratitude care packages are filled with an assortment of non-perishable foods, entertainment items, personal care products, and messages of appreciation. We welcome donations of Wish List Items and Personal Letters for inclusion in the care packages.
How You Can Get Involved
We Need Your Help!
Every American can participate in our Holiday Drive—by:
#1: Writing personal letters
#2: Providing items from the Wish List
#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 50,000 troops, plus their comrades, will have a package to open for the Holidays and a reminder that people at home appreciate their sacrifice!
Also, watch for Operation Gratitude at the Army-Navy Game on your local CBS tv station and on the Hallmark Channel in connection with the airing of their movie, “ The Christmas Card“, both on Saturday, December 2, 2006.
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
- Pre-paid Phone Cards
- 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 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 overall 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 and communication 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.
2006 Holiday Drive Packages Have Begun to Arrive!!
The troops are beginning to receive the Operation Gratitude care packages that were shipped out on Veteran’s Day weekend. Here are just a few of letters we have received so far. For more words from our troops, check out the Mail Call section of the Operation Gratitude web site.
“God Bless You All! I was just sitting here feeling a little homesick when I received your package. It warms my heart to know that the people at home have not forgotten about us. Everything in the box is great and the letters really warmed my heart. Thank you so much.” K.G.
“I received the care package you sent. I want to take this time to thank you and the group of volunteers for your hard work and dedication to every service member you have sent care packages out to. It was very thoughtful and obviously took a lot of planning and consideration putting them all together. Much to my surprise, every item packed in the package was exactly what I needed, and Luke from the Beanie Baby collection was a heart warming touch. Finding some of the simple things like gifts, seasonal cards, and treats can be a challenge in itself because these types of things never stay in stock for very long. I am especially grateful for everything you’ve included in the package and the quantity is a pleasant surprise as well. I know all of you are very busy sending out packages to other soldiers. Again, I appreciate your gift of support. It is truly encouraging to know that we are being supported in both word and deed. On behalf of the *** Company *** Airborne Division I want to send a heart filled thank you to every member of Operation Gratitude team.” Sincerely, SSG D.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, the other Marines of *** Company and I are very thankful for the personal mail and care packages. I personally want to thank each and every one of you. Your letters have helped us take our minds off of the war, for a brief moment. The DVD videos are so helpful in helping us past the time. The gifts within your packages help us with continuing our mission over here. Please continue the gifts, you have made things a little bit more comfortable here for us and God bless you all and sleep peaceful, because “we are guarding the gate”.” 1stSgt RR
“First let me start of by saying thank you on behalf of the men and women here at Commander, U.S. Naval Central Forces Command in ***. We received several boxes to our Sailors here and I can tell you that they were well received. This time of the year for us is usually depressing as we are not with our friends and family. It is always comforting to get something extra or something at all from people who care. This usually helps us forget if for only a minute that we are so far away. We understand it takes time and effort to do these things and I just wanted to say thank you for supporting me and the Sailors who work so hard to defend our country. I hope that God blesses all of you in many ways and we all hope that all of you have a very Happy Thanksgiving and a Merry Christmas.” Very Respectfully, RCG
Access Recycling will pay Operation Gratitude for every used cell phone, ink-jet cartridge, laptop computer, IPOD or PDA received, and will pre-pay the shipping expenses. For more information, click here: RECYCLE FOR OUR TROOPS! If you have questions, please contact: [email protected]
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!
Click here to make online donations through Paypal.
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