Our Story

“I’m going back over there. I know I won’t make it back this time, but it really doesn’t matter because no one would even care.”

Those were the heartbreaking words an Iraq war soldier told our founder Carolyn Blashek back in 2003. He had lost everything and had lost sight of the amount of love and appreciation all around him. Carolyn was stunned, and she immediately wanted him and everyone who serves our country to know that the American people care. But what kind of gesture would reach deployed troops and impact them in a meaningful way? The idea came to her when she was reminded of the Care Packages she sent to her children when they were away. She wanted her kids to know that she was always thinking about them and was excited for their return home. That was the moment Operation Gratitude was born. Carolyn realized that Care Packages are also a perfect way to show our troops that their sacrifices are appreciated here at home. The first 650 Operation Gratitude Care Packages were created in her living room, and since that time, with the help of tens of thousands of volunteers nationwide, the organization has sent almost 4 Million care packages.

That's when operation gratitude was born.

While this grassroots movement started in Blashek’s living room, it now encompasses Americans all over the country donating items and writing letters to express their gratitude for all who serve.