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OPERATION GRATITUDE BLOG: SAYING “THANK YOU” TO ALL WHO SERVE

Sara’s Service

As we continue to fight a global pandemic, our hope is that many new veterans, service members, and their families will participate in and lead OG service projects. They will play a vital role in helping us achieve our mission, and in the process, unite our country and our individual communities.

One such example is Sara Field, an Air Force spouse who embraced Operation Gratitude’s mission and brought together communities in New Jersey, Philadelphia, and Illinois through a common bond of service and simple acts of gratitude.

Every Day is A Day On: Always Courageous

Lori Carroll, a retired Navy veteran, and caretaker who currently lives in Florida. Lori has been crocheting for 47 years, sharing her talents with a multitude of charities.

She brings that experience to Operation Gratitude by crocheting hats and scarves. She is heavily involved in our Facebook group, Operation Gratitude in Action.

Penny’s Purpose

On a Saturday morning at the end of a very long COVID year, I had a conversation with one of our volunteers that I will never forget.

When I called Penny Stewart to say thank you for the beautiful Marine Amigurumi figures she had crocheted for me and our COO, Paul Cucinotta, I didn’t anticipate her saying something that will stick with me forever.

Every Day is a Day On: Moved to Action

Prior to the pandemic, Regina was volunteering at Operation Gratitude’s warehouse, the FOB. She would also consistently volunteer at our monthly care package assembly days. Regina worked in the knits section, rolling handmade with love items and assembling them into care packages.

Regina Bevacqua began volunteering with Operation Gratitude in 2020. A friend’s neighbor told Regina about assembly days at the old armory location. It sounded fun, so Regina began to attend assembly days herself. She even brought her nephews who are active-duty service members.

Jared’s Journey – From Airman to Ambassador

This weekly briefing is about a young Airman named Jared Clemens who embraced Operation Gratitude’s mission and brought together the community of San Antonio through a common bond of service and simple acts of gratitude. When I met Jared outside Fire Station #1 in “Military City USA” on November 28, 2018, I saw and understood the true potential of our volunteer Ambassador program for the very first time.

What Jared did that day was truly remarkable. He single-handedly organized the delivery of 3,000 of our signature red care pouches to every police officer, firefighter, and EMT in the San Antonio Police and Fire Departments.

Every Day is a Day On: Hooked on Volunteerism

Donna Snell, a semi-retired event planner, became involved with Operation Gratitude a few years ago when a friend told her about one of their campaigns. In 2017, during the devastating Texas floods, Operation Gratitude was sending truckloads of supplies to families who had lost their homes. Donna’s friend was collecting clothes to assist with that effort, and Donna joined in to support the cause. This led to Donna attending an assembly day where she described herself as “hooked.”

After that, she began slowly volunteering around her work schedule. Now Donna volunteers almost every day and has worked with every program Operation Gratitude has launched.

Alex’s Army

Hear the words and look at the faces of civilians, first responders, and military families standing side by side in service to their community and one another. From every walk of life, they came together — they laughed, they sang, and they had conversations that led to meaningful connections, understanding, and empathy. 

They realized that, despite their differences, they shared the same neighbors, their kids went to the same schools, and they shared the same commitment to make their community stronger. They recognized a common belief and passion for service and the goodness of humankind through simple acts of gratitude and kindness.

Every Day is a Day On: Bridging the Divide through Philanthropy

The Every Day is a Day On series spotlights volunteers at Operation Gratitude who go above and beyond to support servicemen and women, their families, and first responders.

The third feature in this series features Holly Street of Atlanta, Georgia. Holly has been volunteering with Operation Gratitude through the National Charity League (NCL) for eight years. The Buckhead Chapter of NCL’s main focus of volunteerism has been making paracord bracelets, writing letters, and collecting care package donations.

This is Holly’s story…