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Operation Gratitude Holiday Drive Wrap-Up

posted on Jan 11 2008 0 Comments


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Operation Gratitude “Wraps Up” Holiday Drive and 300,000th Package

During the weekend of December 15 and 16, 2007, Operation Gratitude’s team of dedicated Volunteers wrapped up the organization’s 300,000th Care Package as well as this season’s record-setting Holiday Drive.

Over five weekends of assembly work, thousands of Operation Gratitude volunteers created 70,000 care packages chock full of fabulous items donated by generous citizens from every state and by our loyal Corporate Sponsors. Today, more than 58,000 of these  packages have been received by our deployed service members, and more are on their way.  Please visit our website to see the photos and to read the troops’ letters!

The milestone 300,000th package, which includes keys to a 2008 Jeep Liberty donated by the Jeep brand of Chrysler, LLC, will be delivered soon.

In total, Operation Gratitude’s volunteers have now shipped more than 315,000 care packages to our men and women in uniform deployed overseas. Thank YOU for your continued support to make this happen!


Candy Kid

Halloween Candy is Sweet Treat for More than Just Kids

This Halloween, dentists across the country promoted a unique way to bring brighter smiles to both American kids and U.S. troops. They hosted Halloween “Buy Back” events where dentists paid kids one dollar for every pound of candy they turned in. The candy was then shipped to Operation Gratitude to include in its care packages. Dr. Chris Kammer, senior dentist at the Center for Cosmetic Dentistry in Middleton, WI, created and organized the Buy Back program.

“This was a fun and effective event for us,” said Jenny Skrenes, a marketing professional for the Center for Cosmetic Dentistry. “It gave dentists a new way to fulfill their mission of fighting cavities, while also giving them the opportunity to help fulfill Operation Gratitude’s mission of putting smiles on service members’ faces.”


More than 80 dentists across 27 states participated in the Buy-Back program. Approximately 24,000 pounds of candy were shipped to Operation Gratitude, and that truly does have everyone smiling! We hope to include lots of Easter candy, especially Jelly Beans, in the Patriotic packages this spring.


Scarf and GS Cookie Soldier

Volunteers Knit Warmth for Troops’ Hearts and Minds

This fall, volunteer knitters and crocheters were hard at work, creating beautiful handmade scarves and hats for US troops. Thanks to the deft hands and clicking needles of 200+ volunteers from 20 different states across the country, Operation Gratitude received more than 2500 lovingly crafted items for the Holiday 2007 care packages..

Many of the troop thank you letters say that the scarves and hats keep them warm during the cold winter nights in the field, but even more importantly, the thoughtfulness of these gifts keep their hearts warm day and night, all year round.

Our crafters are now hard at work sewing the Bandana Cool-Ties for our summer Patriotic care packages, and many are already working on scarves for the 2008 Holiday Drive. We welcome your handiwork too! For more information, please contact Sharon Howard at [email protected] .


LTG MooreSaying Thank You to All US Veterans

Operation Gratitude is dedicated to helping currently deployed service members feel valued and appreciated while they are far from home. Our supporters also recognize the importance of continuously saying “thank you” to those who have honorably served their country in years past.

That’s why Operation Gratitude created the Letters to Veterans campaign to personally thank the tens of thousands of US Veterans who served their country in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Operation Desert Storm and other conflicts. To date, 700 letters have been written and more than 500 of those have been received by veterans.

Want to get involved? Please send your letters to Penny Alfonso, and she will distribute them to the many veterans across the country who deserve our respect and gratitude for their service.


Girl ScoutsGirl Scout Cookie Sales Starting Soon

Girl Scouts from coast to coast will soon be selling their delicious cookies through pre-sales and booth sales.  We hope to include two boxes of these “taste of home” cookies in every Operation Gratitude care package this year.  So, when you see these enterprising Scouts, please purchase additional boxes of cookies for Operation Gratitude.  By donating Girl Scout cookies through our “Troops to Troops” campaign, you not only support the Girl Scout way, but you express your appreciation to our troops as well!

As one Sargeant wrote: “Your support of the troops is very significant and greatly appreciated. And by the way, the Girl Scout Cookies that were included in the packages were a big hit!!”  To read more Troop Letters, visit the Mail Call section of our website.

Soldier carrying PkgsOperation Gratitude Schedule for 2008

The intrepid Operation Gratitude Volunteers have already marked their calendars with the dates of the 2008 Patriotic and Holiday Drives. All information is now on the website: 2008 Schedule.  The “accelerated” Patriotic Drive will be here before you know it: We urge all supporters to concentrate on collecting Beanie Babies and writing lots of letters for our summer Drive.  Please email [email protected] for the Letter Writing Flyer.

More ideas on How You Can Help throughout the year can be found on the website.

Be sure to check out our Recycling Program to help raise funds for shipping!

Visit the Operation Gratitude Online Storefront, where you can shop for beautiful logo items and support our troops at the same time!


Thumbs UpTHANK YOU!!

For making 2007 our most successful year yet! We shipped over 110,000 care packages-that’s almost 1 Million pounds of product and 4.4 Million individual items! With your continued support in 2008, we will continue to put smiles on our service member’s faces and send our messages of respect and appreciation to our deployed troops who are so far away from home.

Best wishes for a happy, healthy and safe New Year!



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