Amidst the heat of the summer, an image of logs crackling in the fireplace and casting a glow on stockings hung above is probably the last thing to come to mind for most people. But for Operation Gratitude and our growing army of volunteers nationwide, the holiday spirit is always in our thoughts.
May is Military Appreciation Month, and as both a veteran and a colleague to many members of the military, I believe it’s important to honor those who protect and serve our country and communities. Some might think this month is only for military families and their closest acquaintances, but I believe this month is for everyone.
A recent study funded by Welch’s surveyed 2,000 U.S. moms and found their average workweek clocks in at around 98 hours. That’s the equivalent of two full-time jobs. Most will tell you it’s a labor of love, and while the dedication and sacrifice of that work alone is impressive, the picture changes when service to family meets service to country.
While my unit and I may be central to our mission, I can’t even begin to think about the task at hand without the support of my employer, my coworkers, my community, my wife, and, importantly, my four kids.
That’s why I wanted to take the time to recognize, celebrate, and raise awareness for the Month of the Military Child and the unseen sacrifices at home that surround many of our soldiers overseas.
This week we feature Janet Goodhart, a volunteer from Rhode Island who has been with Operation Gratitude for two years. Janet primarily crochets hats and scarves, but she has also made hundreds of paracord bracelets and handwritten thank you cards, as well as donated beanie babies, blank greeting cards, and made financial donations in memory of her late husband, Bill.
Janet Goodhart began volunteering at Operation Gratitude two years ago when she was looking for additional places to donate her hand-crocheted items.
Although crocheting is her favorite method of volunteerism, Sonyia enjoys sewing cool ties and drawstring bags. She’s also ventured into card making because of the many options for creativity and color.
Even while working a full-time job, Sonyia said “there’s not a day that goes by where I’m not doing something for Operation Gratitude. I just enjoy it so much.”
The eighth blog in the Every Day is a Day On series features Mary Sayers from North Carolina.
A dedicated volunteer who has served with Operation Gratitude for over 10 years, Mary is involved with her church’s Knitting for Charity group. Her love of making connections has created a large web of volunteers and donors. Mary loves to knit and shares her passion whenever she can.
The contents of Operation Gratitude Care Packages are intentional and thought out in order to not only be comforting, but practical for the military, first responder, and healthcare heroes who receive them.
One former San Jose police officer says that was especially true for him–even months after the fact.