As you read these words, there are moms and dads saying goodbye to their kids at airports just like I did on January 25, 2008 when my oldest son Luke turned 13. I remember that day like it was yesterday. I was on my way to Israel where I would spend the better part of my final year as a United States Marine. My youngest son, Jack, who was then 7, cried inconsolably, clutching the back of my neck and refusing to let go.
Challenging weeks happen from time to time when you are part of a nonprofit and work tirelessly to make a difference.
But in those difficult moments, it always seems something inevitably happens that reminds us why serving others is so incredibly important and that we must stay the course.
The value of Operation Gratitude’s signature care packages isn’t measured in dollars and cents. It is measured by what it represents to both the service member and the volunteers who prepare them.
Our 18 years of consistent impact as an organization are a direct result of Americans, like you, who want our service men and women to know they are appreciated and never forgotten.
By sharing stories about our founder, our history, and most importantly our impact in countless conversations — at service projects, luncheons, care package deliveries, ceremonies, and parades — Bob Donovan has impressed upon every person he has met the importance of saying thank you to those who serve our nation.
What better person than a Vietnam Veteran, who never heard the words “thank you” during his career in the military, to explain why simple acts of gratitude make a difference? Who better than a Blue Shirt who has experienced the magic of OG at dozens of Assembly Days to describe how Operation Gratitude gives every American the opportunity to express appreciation to our men and women in uniform in tangible ways?
The royal blue t-shirt that we wear proudly is not just a Blue Shirt, it represents the family of volunteers that Operation Gratitude has built nationwide.
This grassroots movement has become a massive community of volunteers across the country, who not only believe in our mission but who take action every day to say thank you to those who serve.
Operation Gratitude gives every American the opportunity to let their servant’s heartbeat stronger and more loudly with every act of gratitude and kindness.
From our more experienced Handmade With Love crafters who have discovered a true sense of purpose with Operation Gratitude, to first-grade classrooms learning the value of service from their teachers, the heart of this organization is our volunteers, and they make a difference with every single beat.