Operation Gratitude

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posted on Sep 10 2008 0 Comments


With the passing of Labor Day, Fall is here!  We hope that everyone had a great Summer.  Here at Operation Gratitude we were busily finishing up the Patriotic Drive and sending thousands more packages that had been assembled in May. We also have been preparing the armory, organizing products, accepting deliveries, designing the new Operation Gratitude Magazine for this year’s packages and reaching out to new donors and volunteers.  Across the country, scarves are being knit and crocheted, letters written and fundraising activities planned. We hope you will participate in this Prep Stage: Please visit the How You Can Help page of ourCandy-asst website for lots of ideas and also think CANDY, CANDY, and more CANDY!  Halloween Candy to be specific.  Not only do we welcome all of yours, but we coordinate with dentists throughout the country who “buy-back” Halloween candy from their patients, and send it to Operation Gratitude to include in our packages.  Encourage your dentist to contact us to learn how they can develop a Buy-Back program to Support Our Troops!  For more information and flyers, please mail [email protected]

The 6th Annual Holiday Drive…

… is around the corner! Oct. 18, 2008, is the first day of packing.  We will start shipping much earlier this year in order to reach more service members than ever before.  We plan to send 70,000 care packages! That means we need a lot of product and letters to fill the packages and a lot of money to pay the postage.  We hope you will start your fundraisers, collection drives and letter writing campaigns as soon as possible.

Postal rates went up to $9.30/package, but we are trying to keep our overall cost to $10/package. That still means we need $700,000 to successfully complete this drive.  To assist in our fundraising we are switching to a new, friendlier online donation system which will also make it easier to send mhttp://rs6.net/tn.jsp?t=qme4xqcab.0.0.9dmzolbab.0&p=https://www.mysimplegive.com/SG/landing?id=opgrat&id=previewessages to the troops, make tribute donations in someone’s honor or memory, and set up recurring donations on a weekly, monthly or yearly basis.  Please check out and use our new Donation Page and then share it with everyone you know! Look for this new icon throughout the Operation Gratitude website; click it and experience the new way to make a donation and send a message to our Troops!

Upcoming Events
Returning this year to Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, The Army-Navy Game on December 6 will once again support Operation Gratitude.  Watch your emails and the website for more details!

Kicking off our Fall season was the first-ever Shasta Salute to America Motorcycle Rally over Labor Day Weekend.  The five-day gathering featured a variety of activities, performances by top name entertainers and tributes to American service men and women. Army Staff Sgt. Elizabeth “Liz” Cowie, Operation Gratitude’s original Military Liaison (and recently returned from her own deployment in Iraq), attended the rally and spoke about the impact our organization has on those serving in dangerous areas worldwide.  For more information and pictures, check out their great website: Shasta Bike Rally.

On November 7th, actor Kelsey Grammer will host a screening of the film Warriors…In Their Own Words at The Skirball Center  in Los Angeles to honor the men and women who have kept us safe and who have protected our freedoms.   Three exciting surprise items will be auctioned to benefit Operation Gratitude.  For more information, visit: http://www.warriorsthefilm.com
250,000th Box
And the most exciting event of the Holiday Drive will be the celebration of our 400,000th package on December 13, 2008! As previously reported, during the Welcome Home Ceremony on July 1, 2008 for 4,000 recently returned soldiers of the 4th Stryker Brigade in Ft. Lewis, Washington, newly promoted Army Corporal Michael “Shaun” Gallagher took possession of the 2008 Jeep® Liberty promised to him in Operation Gratitude’s 300,000th care package that he received last January.

Stay tuned to learn what will be in the 400,000th package!

The Troops Speak:
The troops express their appreciation for Operation Gratitude care packages through a constant flow of letters, e-mails and pictures, as seen in the Mail Call and Photo Gallery sections of the Operation Gratitude website.


PackagesArrive'08I am a grateful recipient of one of your care packages.  THANK YOU.  It is people like all of you that make these deployments bearable for us soldiers.  Your support reminds us why we raised our hands in solemn oath to go where our country calls us.  Thank you all very much and God bless y’all.  SPC C.N.

Your packages were a welcome sight to see when they were delivered!  Every gift you send, every card that is read, every special piece of home that is received reflects your deepest commitment to supporting and caring for our deployed troops.  It shows that America remains strong, united, and has the resolve to press ahead during these challenging times as we rebuild Iraq.  You–the real “Heroes” back at home supporting us here– make us proud to serve America.  Together, we on the frontline and you on the home front are “America’s Next Greatest Generation.”  Please extend our most sincere “Thank You” to your volunteers for their time, effort, love and support in delivering a little piece of America to our Marines and Sailors in the field.  God Bless you all and Semper Fidelis.  Very Respectfully, LtCol W.H. S.

I received a package from you today after rolling in off of a long mission.  I was tired, dirty and hungry but that box made my day.  I thank each and every one of you for what you do.  People like you make being here worth it.  We get a lot of “Thank Yous” and pats on the back, but people like you deserve it just as much as we do.  It takes all of us to make America what it is.  FREE.  In one way or another we have all made sacrifices- Soldiers and civilians.  United we stand.  That means all of us.  Again, I thank you for my family, my fellow soldiers and myself.  SPC E.T.


Check our website Operation Gratitude regularly for updates, information about our Holiday Drive and other activities, and to read more letters from our package recipients.

Please help us put smiles on the faces of at least 70,000 of our service men and women deployed overseas during a very difficult time away from home this year.  You can donate funds, write letters, knit and crochet scarves, recycle cell phones, collect Wish List items, volunteer at the Armory and more!  Help us spread the word about our program: please share this Newsletter and our website with everyone you know!

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