Small groups of volunteers including personnel from the Los Angeles North Army Recruiting Company, Los Angeles Police Department, local Marine Corps Poolees, the 195th Wing of the California Air National Guard, and of course, Operation Gratitude’s Blue Shirts gathered on separate days to help assemble 18,000 care packages being shipped to deployed troops.
OPERATION GRATITUDE BLOG: SAYING “THANK YOU” TO ALL WHO SERVE
By sharing stories about our founder, our history, and most importantly our impact in countless conversations — at service projects, luncheons, care package deliveries, ceremonies, and parades — Bob Donovan has impressed upon every person he has met the importance of saying thank you to those who serve our nation.
What better person than a Vietnam Veteran, who never heard the words “thank you” during his career in the military, to explain why simple acts of gratitude make a difference? Who better than a Blue Shirt who has experienced the magic of OG at dozens of Assembly Days to describe how Operation Gratitude gives every American the opportunity to express appreciation to our men and women in uniform in tangible ways?
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.
The royal blue t-shirt that we wear proudly is not just a Blue Shirt, it represents the family of volunteers that Operation Gratitude has built nationwide.
This grassroots movement has become a massive community of volunteers across the country, who not only believe in our mission but who take action every day to say thank you to those who serve.
Operation Gratitude gives every American the opportunity to let their servant’s heartbeat stronger and more loudly with every act of gratitude and kindness.
From our more experienced Handmade With Love crafters who have discovered a true sense of purpose with Operation Gratitude, to first-grade classrooms learning the value of service from their teachers, the heart of this organization is our volunteers, and they make a difference with every single beat.
Lil Bauer is a dedicated volunteer, with us since our founding. Now at 95-years-young, Lil is one of our oldest volunteers yet she still runs circles around the rest of us!
Known for her signature hats, she is affectionately known as “the hat lady” around the FOB. She is a true force of nature when it comes to volunteerism.
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.
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.