| Operation Gratitude Hits Unprecedented Milestone December 13
Will Send Last Batch of Packages to Reach Troops in Time for Christmas
| Van Nuys, CA – December 3, 2008 – Following the assembly of over 50,000 care packages in just seven days, Operation Gratitude Director of Operations, Charlie Othold, announced today that the organization will reach a major milestone on Saturday, December 13, 2008: The shipment of its 400,000th CARE PACKAGE!!
Othold expects the 400,000th package to hit the Assembly Line between 11:00am-11:30am on Saturday, December 13th.
In addition to regular Wish List items and personal letters provided by more than 150 Corporate Sponsors and Friends, and by tens of thousands of individual donors across the country, the 400,000th Care Package will include several surprise gifts. A special delivery of the 400,000th package is being arranged.
Three previous Operation Gratitude milestone packages contained the keys to new vehicles. The 300,000th package
was delivered personally in Iraq
by Othold and founder Carolyn Blashek.
The winners of the online “Letters to Our Troops”
Contest, sponsored by Rogers Family Coffee Company
will also be announced and the Grand Prize Winning Letter will be read and placed into the 400,000th package.An additional 12-15,000 care packages will be assembled and shipped during the December 13-14 weekend. “This is the last weekend to mail packages that can still reach the troops in time for Christmas,” stated Robert Bender, Operation Gratitude Logistics Coordinator. “We intend to get out as many packages as is humanly possible,” he added.
Military and Political dignitaries, along with representatives from many of the organization’s Corporate Sponsors will join celebrities and cast members from popular TV shows to assist the Operation Gratitude volunteers assemble thousands of troop gifts, in addition to the 400,000th Care Package. Fun activities, delicious product samples and a hearty lunch will be provided by Corporate donors.
Media and press are invited to attend the Milestone Celebration and the Lunch following the ceremony
WHAT:Operation Gratitude Volunteers assemble the 400,000th Care Package
Saturday December 13, 2008: Production starts at 9 a.m.; the 400,000th package assembly and celebration will occur between 11:00 a.m. – 12 Noon
Packing will continue from 1-4 p.m. on December 13 and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on December 14th, 2008
California National Guard Armory
17330 Victory Boulevard
Van Nuys, Ca. 91406
Corner of Victory and Louise
Volunteers (ages 12 years and older) are welcome to assist in the weekend activities. For additional information, please visit the www.operationgratitude.com
website, email [email protected]
or call the Hotline: 818-909-0039.
The Troops Respond:
The troops express their appreciation for Operation Gratitude Care Packages through a constant flow of letters, e-mails and pictures, as seen in the Mail Call and Photo Gallery sections of the www.operationgratitude.com website.
“On the morning of Thanksgiving we were all a little down. Then later that day, we received your boxes. I can’t begin to tell you the gratitude we all felt and the smiles that it put on the faces of all the soldiers here. But the thing that touched us the most wasn’t the content of the boxes. The thing we were most proud of and what touched us all the most was the enclosed card with a picture off all the great Americans there waving and smiling at us. The entire mood changed and our Thanksgiving was Thanksgiving again. We all ate “Army Food” for Thanksgiving and talked about everything you guys sent, but again the talk kept going back to the card and the obvious support and love and care that your group sent. We noticed young, old, disabled, moms, dads, sons, and daughters. And we could also pick out the ones that have even served themselves, they just have that look!! Please tell all of them from the bottom of the heart of many soldiers located in an isolated forward operating base in Iraq, we received their gratitude on Thanksgiving day when we needed it the most. We may be serving here in Iraq but you guys are the Heroes. Thank You Again with the deepest Respect, Major K.O.”
“I just received your package. I wanted to take this time to thank you for your thoughts, and more importantly your time. We are doing a job that our country has called us to do, and you are making that job easier. I am not much of a “candy man.” However, I wanted you to know that I put it to good use. Today, on mission, I took the candy and gave it to as many children as I saw. You can not imagine the smiles of these kids who have nothing, and surely have never had candy. My heart nearly melted completely, when a little girl from Kirkuk blew me a kiss and said thank you!!!! It is the little things in life that make the difference. Keep up the work and know that it is making a difference!!! Thanks again!! Sincerely, Specialist B.Q.”