There’s something about receiving a handmade item that warms the heart, especially when you’re deployed. Why? Because every moment of time, talent, and energy poured into a handmade item is an expression of deep appreciation for the service and sacrifice of the service members who receive our Care Packages.


In the cold winter months, we include a lovingly handmade scarf or hat in every Care Package we send to the Troops. To make that happen, we need the knitting and crocheting talents of many Volunteers across the country.


Is there a pattern for the scarves and hats?

There is no specific pattern to follow so feel free to use your own. We recommend that you keep them simple and perhaps use slightly larger needles so more can be made! Please keep your scarves within our size restrictions (no larger than 4”-6” wide, 48”-50” long) so they fit into our Care Packages. No fringe please. If your scarves are a little wider or longer, no worries! They will be given to, and appreciated by, Wounded Heroes or Veterans.

What yarns and colors should we use?

Any soft yarn is fine and any color will be accepted, but if possible please keep the colors on the subtle side—blues, browns, greens, grays, maroon, and black are all good choices, and also appropriate for male and female Troops. Stripes using these colors or multi-colored yarn is acceptable. We have reviewed our policy with our Military advisors and have been cleared to accept scarves and hats made with a red, white, and blue color combination.

Should we attach a letter or note?

Yes! The best way to attach your personal notes to your scarves is with a piece of yarn through a hole in the note and then tied to the scarf. The note can be as simple as “Handmade with Love” or a letter about your group or organization. Include contact information—an email or “snail mail” address—so the recipient can send you a “thank you” if they have time. You also use our email address (info@operationgratitude.com) but please also include your group name so we can be sure to forward replies on to you. Due to potential allergies and/or Military uniform restrictions, please list the fiber content on your ‘Made With Love’ note that you attach to the scarf.

Will we get a letter of acknowledgment from Operation Gratitude?

Yes, we will send you a thank you letter within 8 weeks of receiving your donation. If you want earlier confirmation of delivery of your shipment(s), please use the tracking system provided by your shipper.

How should we ship our donations?

Place scarves all together in one large plastic zip-lock or drawstring bag so they stay clean and dry and then place in a carton.

We like to include handmade scarves in our packages because they convey the important message that people at home care enough to lovingly create something warm and personal.”

Operation Gratitude Founder


Email us at HWL@operationgratitude.com.


Drawstring bags are handy and useful for our Troops to store their loose, personal items. Each one we place in a Care Package is handmade by an appreciative American.



Bandanas are useful pieces of material for our Troops, and we send extra special ones in our Care Packages that are hand stitched or machine sewn by our dedicated Volunteers as a sign of appreciation.

Bandana Can be Used to:

  • Compression bandage
  • Dry sweaty hands
  • Protect neck from hot sun
  • Clean binocular lens
  • Emergency repair for a broken pack or gun strap


Is there a pattern for the Bandanas?

A bandana should be between 21″ and 24″ square when seamed. Simply cut your fabric into a square, allowing for a ½” seam on all sides. Fold the edges ½” on each side and sew them down.

What color of fabric or print should we use?

Remember that these will be worn by both men and women so keep your colors and patterned fabric muted (tan, military shades of green, blue or brown). We want the bandanas to blend well our Troops’ daily uniform. Camo pattern is always appreciated and can be found in almost every fabric store. Please do not use pastels, neon, or overly bright colors.

What type of fabric should we use?

We suggest 100% cotton. It’s a durable fabric when wet or dry and can be easily washed and dried with no special care. It is also inexpensive and can be found through almost any craft store or online.

Should we wash my bandanas after they are made?

Please do not. Many people are allergic to today’s detergents and have to use special laundry soap.

Can the bandana be worn while in uniform?

Yes, when regulation issue is not required.

Should we send a letter or note?

We make sure that all handmade items include a short note and an e-mail address from us, but we welcome a letter from you as well. The note can be a letter about yourself or as simple as “Handmade with Love,” along with your email address and/or home address. If you are uncomfortable using your personal address, feel free to use ours—info@operationgratitude.com—but please include your full name so we can be sure to forward replies to you.

The best way to attach your personal notes to your bandana is to fold it inside the bandana. Please do not stitch your note to the bandana

Do you have any special shipping instructions for bandanas?

When mailing the bandanas to us, please place your bandanas all together in one large plastic zip-lock or drawstring bag so they remain clean and dry during transit to us and while waiting to be shipped to the Troops. Please do not put each bandana in its own individual bag.

Do we have to make a bandana or can we buy them to send to you?

You are welcome to purchase them! If you are an Amazon shopper, we have a wish list of items set up and you can have the bandanas shipped directly to us and save on your shipping costs!

Will we get a letter of acknowledgment from Operation Gratitude?

Yes, we will keep track of all the items you send or deliver to us, and send you a thank you letter within 8 weeks. If you want confirmation of delivery of your shipment(s), please use the tracking system provided by your shipper.


  1. Fill out our Donor Form and print a copy for each box that you send.
  2. Ship all items to:
    Operation Gratitude
    ATTN: Handmade Items Program
    21100 Lassen Street
    Chatsworth, CA 91311-4278

Or drop them off in person:
Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

We accept handmade items year-round.

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