Celebrating Unprecedented Impact in an Unprecedented Year

With just a few days until the new year, our unstoppable team is already preparing the first few shipments of care packages for Frontline Responders fighting COVID-19. We will recognize the sacrifices they made being separated from their loved ones and spending the holidays in hospitals, squad cars, fire trucks, and ambulances.

Our hope is you will consider making an end of year tax-deductible contribution to expand Operation Gratitude’s impact across the country this January. 

While you help us do even more for service members to start 2021, I also want you to celebrate the impact we made together during an unprecedented and challenging year in our nation’s history. Let’s reflect on what Operation Gratitude accomplished with YOUR help during 2020.

By impacting 600,000 deployed troops, veterans, and frontline heroes and giving a sense of purpose and hope to one million volunteers, we served a vital role for our country as a whole during a global pandemic. At the same time, we profoundly lifted the spirits and touched the lives of so many individual Americans (in and out of uniform) who needed our support.  

Think back to the 900 military children who received our Battalion Buddies from 30 local volunteers at Fort Bragg on February 1st. Read the touching words from the 1st Brigade Commander of 82nd Airborne Division who sent this email to thank us for comforting the families left behind when his Soldiers deployed to Iraq in the wake of the attacks on the U.S. Embassy there. ​​​

Dear Kevin,

I wanted to send my thanks for what Operation Gratitude did for the families of our Paratroopers yesterday. The effort and energy that went into providing a simple act of love to the kids of this Brigade will never be forgotten. I am grateful that organizations like yours exist to recognize the sacrifice our families make for this nation. You, your team, and your volunteers help us remember, in these times, that love and a community of family transcend all; and that while we are away, our loved ones will always be taken care of. I, and the Paratroopers of this Brigade, consider you all part of the Devil family now.  We will be forever grateful and I hope that when we return, we can thank you in person.  

With my sincere thanks!

Colonel A. Saslav
Commander TF DEVIL
1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division

Remember the 450,000 COVID-19 Frontline Responders we supported at more than 300 hospitals, National Guard units, and Police and Fire departments across the country this year. We helped them face fears and brave unthinkable risks.  

This week we surprised our clinics with the items you sent in thanks for their heroism in battling our invisible enemy. Your letter and the treats truly lifted their spirits and they were so touched.

We’re all human, and there are definitely those amongst us who are facing fears and braving risk to be here for our patients and community. Getting an unexpected surprise and recognition like this made them feel incredibly valued and appreciated.

From all of us, thank you for what your organization does.

I would like to say thank you to Operation Gratitude and your volunteers for sending such wonderful and thoughtful gifts.

This gesture has truly touched my heart. The mission of Operation Gratitude is remarkable and you have lifted my spirits as a first responder during very difficult and challenging times.

From the bottom of my heart thank you, thank you, thank you for thinking of us.

Look back at the tangible impact we made for 12,000 Deployed Troopswith our Christmas in July campaign. Many of those recipients faced extended deployments due to COVID. 

Click on the video below to see the local news coverage.

Recall our heroic work and an accomplishment that many deemed impossible when we assembled and delivered 20,000 Care Packages to deployed troops and first responder heroes in NYC, DC, and a Shanksville PA on 9/11.

​​​​​While this National Day of Service felt different for a lot of people, Operation Gratitude made a bigger difference than any previous year in our organization’s history. 

Thank you so much for the gratitude packages.  Everyone loved all the goodies inside!  This year has been rough on everyone and receiving these packages really put a smile on everyone’s faces!  We just wanted to thank you all for everything that you do!

Thank you for everything.

The Shanksville Crew
Station 627 Shanksville VFD

Imagine what it was like for the 27,000 isolated and homebound Veterans in all 50 states and DC who received our care packages in recognition of Veterans Day. Some of them heard the words “thank you for your service” for the very first time. 

Today we received a knock on the door and a very kind gentleman said he was here to honor my husband, a U.S. Navy Veteran. The cards and goodies were amazing.

Marty has been on the waiting list to go on the Honor Flight for a very long time, as he is a Vietnam Vet and there is a huge waiting list. Little did anyone know at this organization that he just had his second surgery this year and is having a very hard recovery. The kindness you have shown him made such a difference to this old sailor. We are very grateful.

May God bless all you do. Many thanks to all that helped.

And finally, celebrate what we did together this month for 20,000 deployed troops who received our Holiday Care Packages.

Thanks to our volunteers, and in partnership with the American Red Cross, CSX, and Veterans United Home Loans, we did the impossible yet again. 

Dear Supporters, 
Words can’t express my gratitude for receiving a package full of kindness and snacks from the people of our great country. I just arrived back in the country after a very long COVID year in Africa. Although I cannot be with my family during the holidays and New Year due to quarantining over 3000 miles away from home, this package warms my heart. I will keep this smile for a bit. Thank you for the continued support. 

Chief R.P.

Thank you so much it brought a tear to my eyes!

I’m currently stationed in Okinawa, Japan and this is my first overseas Christmas! This was extremely thoughtful! I read all the letters.

To put it simply, we did more this year for our military, veterans, and frontline responders than any other nonprofit in the country. In the process, we strengthened the courage and resolve of individual Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, Airmen, healthcare heroes, and first responders. One by one, we said “thank you” and made meaningful connections with 600,000 of them. And we couldn’t have done any of it without YOU. 

I know that no matter what 2021 brings, Operation Gratitude will continue to adapt, overcome, and never stop showing appreciation and forging strong bonds with our men and women in uniform and their families. 

Happy New Year from our entire team, and thank you for being part of our family!

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Channeling the Holiday Spirit this Summer

Amidst the heat of the summer, an image of logs crackling in the fireplace and casting a glow on stockings hung above is probably the last thing to come to mind for most people. But for Operation Gratitude and our growing army of volunteers nationwide, the holiday spirit is always in our thoughts.

More Than Just a Hug

When I look back at my journey over the past 3 years and 8 months as the CEO of Operation Gratitude, the one thing that sticks out the most are the hugs.

They are etched in my memory forever — literally thousands of hugs at hundreds of service projects and community-building events — on too many trips, and in too many cities to count, from sea to shining sea.