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Holiday Drive Kick-Off

posted on Oct 29 2007 0 Comments


2007 Holiday Drive GearsUp

Volunteers Prepping for Veteran’s Day Weekend Kick-Off

Dear Friends,

Volunteers are in full prep mode for the 2007 Holiday Drive, which kicks off over the Veteran’s Day Weekend, November 10 -11! Our goal is to send 60,000 care packages by the end of December, and the excitement is growing as we prepare to assemble and ship Operation Gratitude’s 300,000th package on December 15th!

“This is our 5th Annual Holiday Drive–and will be the largest yet!” exclaimed Carolyn Blashek, Founder of Operation Gratitude. “The holidays are a particularly difficult time for our troops to be away from their loved ones, so it is all the more important that Operation Gratitude reach as many Service Members as possible to let them know they are appreciated and cherished by the American people,” she added.

“I am a soldier currently deployed to Iraq who received a package from you folks recently. Thanks so much for your morale boosting box of goodies — your packages clearly were the result of experience, planning, and labor-intensive love. We troops appreciate all that you do. Keep up the outstanding work. Take care.” Very Respectfully, SPC C.K. Y.

“Once again the call goes out to the thousands of volunteers and donors who graciously join together to express their admiration and respect in this tangible way,” said Cheryl Zerah, Operation Gratitude’s Corporate Secretary. “We are so grateful to each and every supporter who participates in our mission. We could not accomplish this Herculean task without them!” added Supervisor Carol Sweet.

School service clubs, church groups, Scout Troops, business owners and individuals of all ages have found creative and fun ways to collect and donate the items needed to make each treat-filled box extra special. Operation Gratitude care packages are loaded with a wide assortment of non-perishable foods, entertainment items, personal care products, and heartfelt messages of support. We encourage every American to express their appreciation in their own unique way with Operation Gratitude!

Operation Gratitude Accepting Donations

Many Ways to Join Our Holiday Drive

Contribute Financially: With higher U.S.Postal Service rates, and an increased number of packages requested due to the Surge, our financial needs have grown dramatically! In fact, we will spend over $1.1 Million this year just in postage. Please help us fill this postage meter by contributing today–we still have a long way to go to reach our goal! 100% of financial donations to Operation Gratitude, a 501(c)(3), non-profit , all-volunteer organization, are devoted to production, shipping and communication expenses and are tax deductible.

Donations can be made conveniently on-line through PayPal or by check payable to Operation Gratitude and sent to:

Operation Gratitude
16444 Refugio Road
Encino, CA 91436

If you would like to make a donation in someone’s honor or memory, please include the name and address of the person you would like notified and we will send them a lovely tribute letter; donors will receive a letter of acknowledgment for tax purposes. An Operation Gratitude Tribute is a beautiful and meaningful Holiday gift for your employees, colleagues and loved ones.

Many employers provide matching grants based on employee financial contributions and/or volunteer hours worked. Please check with your employer to see if this is available to you. For those who contribute through United Way, Operation Gratitude is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization eligible to receive your donation as a “write-in” charity.


http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?t=jfloxfcab.0.0.9dmzolbab.0&p=https://www.blogpatron.com/add/operationgratitudeOperation Gratitude is deeply grateful for every donation it receives – no amount is ever too small. Every $10 donation sends another care package. For those who would like to provide a monthly contribution, or for those who might want to make a larger donation in smaller monthly amounts, Operation Gratitude is pleased to provide a quick and simple solution through BlogPatron.

If you would like to become a Sustaining Contributor and make monthly donations, please click here.

Holiday Cheer Needed For Boxes

Letters From Home a Must-Have Item for Packages

packages to ship Operation Gratitude Care Packages are filled with letters of support and items from our Wish List including snacks, entertainment items, lip balm, toys and other goodies. All items in the care packages are donated by individuals, Friends and Sponsors.
“We welcome donations of all the different items on our Wish List, but our biggest needs right now are for financial donations, Beanie Babies, DVDs, CDs, Flash Drives, Candy and personal letters to the troops” declares Charlie Othold, Operation Gratitude Director of Operations.

Operation Gratitude strives to include several personal letters in every package that we send. Help ensure that a Soldier, Sailor, Marine or Airman knows that you are thinking of them by writing cards or letters to be included with our care packages.

During these winter months, we also like to include a hand-knit or crocheted scarf in every package–what says “love” better than that? For more information about our Scarf Program, please email Sharon Howard

We accept financial donations and letters year-round and will be accepting Wish List items through December 15. Please send your donated items and letters to:

Operation Gratitude/California Army National Guard
17330 Victory Boulevard
Van Nuys, CA 91406
Attn: Charlie Othold-818.437.6201


Halloween Candy For The Troops

No Tricks, Just Treats!!

Halloween SOLVED! The Post-Halloween “Candy Dilemma”– Donate Candy to the Troops! Operation Gratitude welcomes your Halloween candy contributions. It’s a great way for your children to pass on their ‘extra’ candy so it can be enjoyed by our troops as a reminder of home and shared by them with the Iraqi and Afghani children.
Many dentists are promoting a Halloween candy “buy back” program this year. Check with your dentist to see if they are participating or give them our website so they can find out how to get involved. Halloween candy donations may be sent through your dentist or directly to Operation Gratitude at:

Operation Gratitude/California Army National Guard
17330 Victory Boulevard
Van Nuys, California 91406
ATTN: Charlie Othold: 818.437.6201



Show Your Support with Operation Gratitude Merchandise

http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?t=jfloxfcab.0.0.9dmzolbab.0&p=http://www.operationgratitudestore.com/ Operation Gratitude now has its own On- Line Store featuring a wide variety of t-shirts, sweatshirts, accessories, and household items.

Five dollars from every purchse will be donated to Operation Gratitude
Visit our store now!


Supporting the Troops is Fashionable!

Buy a Shirt – Send a Package!

http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?t=jfloxfcab.0.0.9dmzolbab.0&p=http://www.americanclothingproject.com/support-the-troops.htm American Clothing Project (“ACP”) has partnered with Operation Gratitude to provide a fashionable way to support the troops. These t-shirts have a beautifully designed eagle on the front, they’re super soft and 100% made in the USA. EACH shirt purchased will pay for a care package to be shipped to a member of the US armed forces. ACP will also donate $1 for every sticker sold. Support the troops and look great doing it – with American Clothing Project!

Fundraising Programs Benefit Operation Gratitude

Recycling and Shopping Can Support the Troops Too

http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?t=jfloxfcab.0.0.9dmzolbab.0&p=http://www.grcrecycling.com/OperationGratitude/phones/ You can support the troops with your everyday shopping and recycling. Please check out these simple and easy fundraising programs to help support Operation Gratitude.
GRC Recycling will pay Operation Gratitude up to $30 (or more!) for every cell phone and ink-jet cartridge received, and may even pay for shipping! For more information, check out our website!
We now recycle used video games, which is a great collection project for students! We also recycle all makes and models of laptop computers, PDAs, Blackberry’s and Apple iPods For more information on our recycling program for these items, click on our web site!


http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?t=jfloxfcab.0.0.9dmzolbab.0&p=http://www.careclicks.com/group.php?groupID=663The Operation Gratitude Online Shopping Portal connects to more than 1000 online merchants that provide specials and discounts to our supporters and that also donate a portion of your online purchases back to Operation Gratitude. This is a great way to do your Holiday shopping and support our troops at the same time!

Giveline.com is a revolutionary online store created for the community-minded shopper. Every transaction in their store can generate a charitable contribution to Operation Gratitude. Click here for more information or to begin shopping.

Girl and Boy Scout Troops Answer the Call

Troop-to-Troop Support is Strong!

Scouts Many Scout troops have rallied to provide support for our military troops deployed overseas.
During their annual popcorn sales this Fall, Boy Scouts have been collecting popcorn for our care packages. Many deployed service members have access to microwaves, so a package of Boy Scout microwave popcorn sends the smell of movie theater popcorn wafting into the deserts of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Girl Scout troops are selling cans of snack mix which are a perfect item for Operation Gratitude’s care packages. “We welcome the donations of Scout cashews, peanuts and popcorn for our packages,” said Burt Roseman, Operation Gratitude’s Food Coordinator. “They are a thoughtful and delicious reminder of home for each one of our troops who receives them.”

Operation Gratitude is pleased to partner with Eagle Scout candidates who are working on their Eagle Scout project. From organizing a collection drive to volunteering at the armory, there are many ways to earn this rank with Operation Gratitude. For more information about Eagle Scout projects, contact our Scout Coordinator

In addition to selling popcorn and cookies to send to the troops, many Boy and Girl Scout troops assist at the armory to assemble and ship the care packages. “Their assistance is invaluable,” said Nancy Levy, Customs Form Supervisor. “We really couldn’t do it without them–they are always so willing to pitch in wherever help is needed.”

For more information on Scouting collection drives and volunteering, check out the ” How You Can Help” section of our web site.


Troops Express Gratitude For Packages

Words of Thanks for Operation Gratitude

http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?t=jfloxfcab.0.0.9dmzolbab.0&p=http://www.opgratitude.com/gallery.php The e-mails and letters are still flowing in from troops who received an Operation Gratitude care package during our last Patriotic Drive. For more words from the troops, check out the Mail Call section of our web site.
“I have seen several attempts at providing this type of service to deployed service members, but I have never seen anyone do it with the consistent excellence that your organization does. Every box is a real morale booster for our Sailors and Marines. Every box shows care and concern for the men and women serving their country and the gifts inside are a reminder of the family and friends awaiting their return. Please pass our gratitude to the generous Americans who make this program possible.” Very Sincerely, T.M. Commanding Officer VAW 123, USS ENTERPRISE

“WOW, you gave me goosebumps! THANK YOU so much for what you do. I will NEVER be able to express what a tremendous impact your actions have even for those of us who got mail sometimes from our families. More than armor-piercing protection or the latest “secret” technology we employ, you are the reason why we do what we do without question because we can feel your love and appreciation without bias. May God bless you. It is also an honor for us to serve “your” (our) country and fight for what it stands. Again, thanks from the bottom of my heart! ” “W” …..


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Please help us put smiles on the faces of tens of thousands of service members during a very difficult time away from home and loved ones. We and they will be forever grateful.


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