How You Can Help
At this time, our most urgent needs are:
~Personal letters for Deployed Troops, Veterans, Wounded Heroes, and New Recruits
~Handmade scarves and paracord “Survival” bracelets
~Financial donations to pay for production and shipping expenses ($15/package)
1. Donate Financially
3. Organize a Fundraiser
Girl/Boy Scouts Cookies/Nuts/Popcorn
Sew Bandana Cool-Ties
Braid Paracord Bracelets
Create Greeting Cards
7. Write Letters:
To Veterans of All Generations
To New Recruits
10. Fundraise by Searching the Internet and by Shopping
11. Join Our Mailing List and Spread the Word
About Operation Gratitude
10 Ways To Help
Letter Writing Flyer
Letter Writing For Teachers
Organize a Collection Drive
The Scarf Project
Donate Your Vehicle
Smartphone & Cell Phone Collection
Halloween Candy: Tips for Dentists
Halloween Candy Give-Back
Halloween Candy Buy-Back: Dentists
Paracord Survival Bracelets
Care Kit Assembly
Care Kit Wish List
Girl Scouts Flyer
Quick Release Paracord Jig Layout
Donor Form– to be completed for all item donations and included in carton(s)
1. Donate financially by mail or online.
Financial donations to Operation Gratitude are used to pay for production, shipping and communication expenses required to send over 200,000 care packages annually.
Donations of any amount are greatly appreciated. More than 95% of all donations are devoted to Program Services. Only 5% of funds raised are used for administrative and fundraising expenses.
Operation Gratitude is a 501(c)(3) organization; all donations are tax deductible as provided by law.
To donate online, please click or here this Donate Button:
To donate with Paypal, please click here: PAYPAL.
To donate by mail, please make checks payable to ‘Operation Gratitude’ and send to:
P.O. Box 260257
Encino, California 91426-0257
*PLEASE DO NOT SEND ITEMS or CANDY TO THE ENCINO ADDRESS; THESE TYPES OF DONATIONS WILL BE REJECTED or DISCARDED.
Please see below for Operation Gratitude’s shipping address for all other donations.
TRIBUTES: If you would like to make a donation In Honor or In Memory of a friend or loved one, please include the name and address of the person you would like notified (in the designated form field if donating online, or on a note if sending a check), and we will mail a beautiful tribute letter to them. Donors will receive a letter of acknowledgment for tax purposes.
With Tribute donations, we respectfully suggest a minimum amount of $15 to cover the cost of one care package. However, we welcome and appreciate donations of any amount.
TRIBUTE CARDS: We also have lovely Tribute Cards available online: Tribute Cards, indicating that you have made a donation to Operation Gratitude in honor of your friends, relatives, business associates, customers, etc. These make beautiful and very meaningful gifts at any time of year, but especially for the holidays. There are several options from which to choose.
Please contact [email protected] to learn more about the Tribute Cards and financial donations.
2. Matching Gift Programs and Corporate Volunteerism Grants
Every $15 donated sends another care package: You may be able to double or even triple your donation! Many companies have matching gift programs, which means they’ll match your donation, or maybe even double or triple it! Please check with your Human Resources/Personnel office to learn if your volunteer hours are eligible for grant contributions or if your financial donations are eligible for your company’s matching gift program.
For all questions regarding matching gift programs and corporate volunteerism grants, please email [email protected]
3. Organize a Fundraising Event
4. Organize a Collection Drive
Collection Drives for Operation Gratitude are an active and fun way for your friends, neighbors, members, scouts and/or students to show their support for our troops.
To begin your Collection Drive:
1. Notify your constituency of the dates, times and location of collection
2. Specify what items you will accept (See Wish List).
3. Encourage donations of Stuffed Animals and Hand-made Scarves
4. Encourage Writing of personal letters
5. Donated items are accepted year round.
6. If you want confirmation of delivery on your shipment to us prior to receipt of our acknowledgment letter, please use the tracking system provided by your shipper.
Shipping Address for Item and Letter Donations:
21100 Lassen Street
Chatsworth, CA 91311
Please see detailed shipping information below.
A. Halloween Candy:
~We welcome your excess Halloween Candy for our care packages!
~Check out our Halloween Candy Video on YouTube: Halloween Video
~”Like” our Halloween Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/HalloweenCandy
~ Please separate chocolate from non-chocolate candy and send in separate cartons, labeled accordingly. Sorry, but we cannot send Pixy Stix in our care packages; please remove before donating your candy to us-Thank you!
~Important Information for 2016: https://opgrat.wordpress.com/2013/07/18/halloween-candy-for-the-troops/ This information is current for 2016!
~Dentists: Please post your flyers on the Halloween Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/HalloweenCandy to let the public know you are participating
~Everyone Else: We welcome your excess candy. Operation Gratitude receives over 120 tons of candy each year, please do not spend money to purchase candy to donate to us. Instead, please consider donating those funds to help pay for shipping costs of candy boxes sent to our troops. Every $15 received sends another care package.
Halloween Candy: Tips for Dentists
Halloween Candy Give-Back
Halloween Candy Buy-Back: Dentists
*NOTE: CANDY MUST BE RECEIVED BY NOVEMBER 15th
1. Candy sent to any other address will be refused or destroyed. This is the only acceptable address to ship candy and other item donations
2. If you would like the weight of the candy to be included in your “thank you” letter, please weigh your candy and indicate on the donor form. For our acknowledgment and “thank you” letter purposes, if the donation is a cooperative effort it is important that all donors be identified regarding who is donating candy/items and who is donating postage costs. Please let us know if there is more than one donor on the Donor Form. (Need more room? Please list additional donor info on back of form).
*Please See “Detailed Shipping Information” below.
B. Beanie Babies/Webkinz/Trolls:
We received the following letter from a Marine:
“I live with 17 Marines and Sailors in one room. Everyone got a package and everyone loved it especially the cookies and beanie babies. The cookies are excellent and the beanie babies help us out a lot with the local kids. We give them candy and toys and they give us the location for IED’s. Once again, thank you for everything and for all the hard work that you put into the package. LCPL ND”
Your old Beanie Baby, Webkinz and Troll collections can save the lives of our heroes!
Please donate them to our cause–they will be priceless.
C. Girl and Boy Scout Troops:
We are delighted to work with you on a “Troops to Troops” program for your cookie, nut and popcorn sales. Encourage your buyers to purchase additional products to donate to Operation Gratitude for our care packages! Please email [email protected] for more information and sample flyers.
Boy Scout Eagle Projects – please email [email protected] for information and completing required paperwork.
* See below for Shipping Instructions
5. Craft Projects:
a) Knit/Crochet Scarves (no larger than 4″ Wide, 36″ long)
***Feel free to use your own “recipe” or see samples on Scarf Project Blog.***
Click here for more information on The Scarf Project, please visit:
Sample Patterns, please click here: PATTERNS: Scarves-Hats
or email [email protected]
We need 60,000 scarves for the holiday packages–please help!
** We receive many inquiries regarding acceptable fiber for the scarves. Please know that the scarves and hats we send are gifts. We take ALL types of scarves, made from whatever fibers our volunteer knitters care to use. The service members often wear the scarves and hats we send while they are off-duty.
We also need yarn for knitters who cannot afford to purchase it. Please consider donating skeins of yarn to us.
b) Bandana Cool-Tie Project (for summer packages):
Here’s a great craft project for school, scout, social and community groups:
Follow this link for pattern and directions. Pattern: Cool-Ties and http://www.watersorb.com/polymer_cool_neck_bands.htm
Follow this link to buy the water-absorbing polymer granules needed for your Cool Ties: http://www.watersorb.com/mainstore.html
Please use tan, brown, desert camouflage or other neutral colored cotton. No American flag fabric please.
c) Paracord Survival Bracelet Directions:
An easy and fun project that only takes minutes to complete! Help us include a Survival Bracelet in every care package.
Please see our blog post: How to Make a Paracord Bracelet
or the new and improved Quick Release Paracord Jig Layout
We welcome Paracord Bracelets year-round.
STUDENTS: Earn community service credit for making the bracelets: 1 hour for every 5 bracelets submitted. If mailing the bracelets, please include a Self-addressed Stamped Envelope for the Community Service Certificate and a Donation Form.
Need to buy materials or have questions? For individuals and non-corporate groups please email [email protected] or visit http://bit.ly/OpGratBraceletKits
d) Hand-made Greeting Cards:
We welcome hand-made cards with your personal messages on them or blank cards that the troops can use to write to their loved ones (or to you!).
* See below for Shipping Directions
6. Volunteering at the Forward Operating Base
If you are in the Southern California area and would like to assist in the packaging of the gift boxes, please contact us for details at: [email protected]. Write “Operation Gratitude Volunteer” in the subject line.
Children 12 years and older are welcome in the Forward Operating Base; 12-16 year old volunteers must have a responsible adult with them on the premises at all times.
For more information, click here: Volunteer Schedule and watch this video about our Volunteers
To download and print the Volunteer Release Form, click here: RELEASE FORM
To receive all Volunteer updates by email, click here: Mailing List
We work with numerous Veterans organizations locally and across the country to provide an opportunity for Veterans to continue to serve their country by serving their comrades currently in arms. Veterans are encouraged and welcome to volunteer in person at our facility and/or organize product collection drives, letter writing campaigns and fundraising events in their own communities. Some of the groups we work with on a regular basis include: The American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Jewish Veterans, Korean Veterans Association, Women’s Marine Association and Wings Over Wendy’s.
Operation Gratitude strives to include several personal letters in every package that we send. Help ensure that our Heroes, whether they be a Soldier, Sailor, Marine or Airman, know that you are thinking of them by writing cards or letters. It will only take 5 minutes out of your day to write a letter, but it will bring joy to our troops that will last a lifetime.
Download our Letter Writing Flyer here: Letter Writing Flyer
We accept letters all year.
8. Recycling Campaigns:
Smartphone & cell phone recycling is a great way to support our troops and contribute to Operation Gratitude at no cost! Please visit OperationRecycling.com to learn more. Our recycling partner GRC Wireless will contribute up to $300 to Operation Gratitude for each donated phone. Help Operation Gratitude in their mission to send care packages to U.S. Military overseas!
9. Donate Your Vehicle
To CarsForUSTroops – Proceeds will benefit Operation Gratitude!
10. Fundraise While You Search or Shop:
This is a great way to do your everyday shopping and support our troops at the same time!
a) The Operation Gratitude Ebay Store: 100% of proceeds directly benefit Operation Gratitude! Huge Variety of items including OpGrat “Swag” only available here!
b) Buy and Sell on Ebay: 10-100% of auction proceeds are designated to Operation Gratitude.
c) Great Ideas: Support our Supporters and Support our troops at the same time!
d) GoodSearch.com is an internet search engine that donates a penny per search to Operation Gratitude. Use it just as you would any search engine, get quality search results and help us send more care packages to the troops every time you search!
e) Use your Ralph’s Supermarket Rewards Card
For detailed instructions, click here: Rewards Card
f) ArtfulVision.com: view the variety of unique art and craft gifts — all created by artists here in the U.S.A. 20% of the purchase price goes to Operation Gratitude.
11. Spread the Word and Join Our Mailing List
Please forward this web site to everyone and anyone you know who might be interested in helping Operation Gratitude. Also: Join us on Twitter and Facebook:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/OperationGratitude or
Text “fan OperationGratitude” to 32665 (FBOOK)
And then encourage all your Facebook and Twitter friends to join us too!
Receive News and Updates by email, click here: Mailing List
12. Detailed Shipping Information
1. Donation Form:
Please print out this form: Donor Form, complete it and include a completed form in EVERY carton you send to Operation Gratitude. This form is required in order to receive an acknowledgment of receipt from us. If you cannot access the link, please email us to receive a copy.
NOTE: If the donation is a cooperative effort, it is important that all donors be identified regarding who is donating items and who is donating postage costs – please include multiple Donor info on the back of the form, with a note on front “see back for additional information.”
2. Dates to Ship:
a. We accept Wish List items year-round
b. We accept Letters, Paracord Bracelets and Financial Donations year-round.
c. Halloween candy must be received by mid-November
3. ADDRESS: Ship donated items, with this Donor Form (click to access) to:***
21100 Lassen Street
Chatsworth, CA 91311
NOTE: ITEM DONATIONS SENT TO ANY OTHER ADDRESS WILL BE REJECTED OR DISCARDED
***In order to receive an acknowledgment for donated items, you must include this Donor Form inside every carton. If sending more than one carton, a Donation Form must be included in each carton. Please indicate the total number of cartons being sent so we can be sure we have received all of them.
4. Financial donations:
If you are also sending checks, please send separately from items/letters (to avoid losing them) with a note referencing the item/letter donation to:
P.O. Box 260257
Encino, CA 91426-0257
*IMPORTANT: Do NOT send items or candy to this Encino address — they will not be accepted; SHIPMENTS WILL BE REJECTED OR DISCARDED.
6. Shipping Tips:
a. Use a durable, heavy-duty box and pack with appropriate weight for that box; Not to exceed 50 lbs. per box, please.
b. The ideal carton size is: 24″ x 24″ x 20″ or smaller.
c. To protect your item donations in the event of box damage during transit, we suggest you enclose the contents in a ziplock or other sealable plastic bag.
d. Please use the most economical method from your location. You can check the websites of the various shippers (UPS, USPS, Fed-Ex, DHL) and get their respective prices based on weight and size of package. Some of these outlets are allowed to offer discounts, as they are owned as franchises. e. You can also check with local moving or freight companies–they may be willing to add your donation to their load for very little money (or for free) if they are heading this way anyway.
f. If funds for shipping are an issue, you can check with local Veterans’ groups and/or civic organizations (Rotary, Kiwanis, Lions) to see if any would partner with you to cover the shipping.
g. Thank you for understanding that Operation Gratitude cannot pay for shipping donations to our facility, as we need every penny of our funds to pay the cost of sending the care packages to the troops: $15/package.
a. All financial donations will be acknowledged.
b. If you would like to receive an acknowledgment for donated items, you must include this Donor Form (click to access) inside every carton in your shipment.
c. Acknowledgment letters will be sent within three (3) months.
d. Operation Gratitude is a 501(c)(3) organization; donations are tax deductible as provided by law.
8. Confirmation of Delivery:
** If you want confirmation of delivery on your shipment to us prior to receipt of our acknowledgment letter, please use the tracking system provided by your shipper.
9. Use of Donations:
Operation Gratitude welcomes donations of all products in furtherance of its mission to support our Military. We reserve the right to determine the appropriate use of each donated item, including but not limited to inclusion in our care packages, donation to Military bases or other charities, and/or for fundraising or volunteer appreciation purposes.
10. More Support Information:
For more information about supporting Operation Gratitude, please email [email protected] and we will send our full support email with attached flyers.
To receive email updates and news from Operation Gratitude, click here: Mailing List
For legal and security reasons, Operation GratitudeSM is not at liberty to provide or disclose the names and addresses of service members. For additional information or to discuss your involvement in greater detail, please email [email protected]
Thank you again for your thoughtfulness and patriotic support of our troops!