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Chance’s Choice

When we started the new year, I hoped that the need to support our Deployed Troops and Frontline Responders would wane. As we returned from the holidays, I hoped and prayed that our fight against COVID would end and service members who faced extended deployments would come home.

Yet four weeks into 2021, and the need for Operation Gratitude has grown — not waned. In the weeks leading to the 2021 Inauguration, we supported 6,800 police officers in Washington DC Metropolitan Police Department and NYPD and 25,000 National Guardsmen deployed to our nation’s capital because they needed us.

The fact is, on average, we have impacted more than one service member every minute of the day, thus far, in 2021.

Every Day is a Day On: Community Volunteers Show Gratitude Together

The Every Day is a Day On series spotlights volunteers at Operation Gratitude who go above and beyond to support servicemen and women, their families, and first responders.

Our second spotlight features Jeanne Bauer, a former middle school teacher who has been involved in community outreach in the San Carlos United Methodist Church in San Diego for more than ten years. The main focus of her congregation’s involvement with Operation Gratitude involves knitting hats and scarves and writing Christmas cards, which are all sent during the holiday season in care packages to those currently serving in the military.

Every Day is a Day On

For many of us, 2021 started off in a very challenging way. Our fight against a global pandemic continues, and we witnessed an attack on the U.S. Capitol Building last week resulting in the deaths of five Americans and injuries to 58 DC Police Officers. 

What Operation Gratitude did in response was nothing short of extraordinary, and we need your help to continue to lift the spirits of our men and women in uniform at a time of their greatest need. 

Every Day is a Day On: A Family’s Giving Spirit

The Every Day is a Day On series spotlights volunteers at Operation Gratitude who go above and beyond to support servicemen and women, their families, and first responders.

Our series begins with two sisters–Mary Ausloos of New Mexico and Mona Wolverton of Colorado–volunteers whose focus with Operation Gratitude has been the handmade card program and spreading holiday cheer through their cards. 

Letter From Our CEO – Bridging Divides

These past few days have been difficult for me as the CEO of a nonprofit that brings Americans from all walks of life together and bridges divides through a common bond of service, acts of gratitude, and meaningful engagements in communities nationwide.

Much like the challenges our nation faced last year as a result of COVID and the divides caused by racial injustice, I have struggled to find the right words to express what Operation Gratitude can and must do to help our country and our communities heal.

In Their Own Words: I Hope You Know that You Have Made a Difference

In January 1991, I sat in the desert of Saudi Arabia deployed with 2nd Battalion 10th Marines from Camp LeJeune NC for the Gulf War. As a young Second Lieutenant, I was a little scared—but most of all I missed my family as I spent my first holiday season away from them.

I know our COO, Paul Cucinotta, who spent four Christmas holidays away from his wife and four children over his 27 year career feels the same way—as do the other veterans and military spouses on our team who spent hundreds of birthdays, special occasions and holidays separated from their loved ones.

3 Benefits of Gratitude

One of the most rewarding aspects of giving back to those that deserve your gratitude is all the benefits you receive. There have been numerous studies over the years that demonstrate the increased quality of life that can come with expressing your gratitude all year round.

Operation Gratitude CEO Kevin Schmiegel recently shared, “Our nation’s military service members and first responders put their lives on the line to protect us, and we will do anything we can to help brighten their day, bring a smile to their faces, and express our gratitude for all that they do. When the nights get dark earlier and temperatures plummet, there is no better time to slow down and reflect on things you are grateful for, especially those heroes among us.”

As you being your new year, reflect on these 3 benefits of gratitude and join us in saying Thank You to All Who Serve.