Please use this guide to order boxes, print postage, and have your box picked up by the post office.



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 scarves and hats?

There is no specific pattern so feel free to use your own stitch or pattern that you enjoy making or you are welcome to use one of the patterns provided in the link below. We recommend that you keep your design simple and perhaps use slightly larger needles or hook so more items can be made from the same amount of yarn. Your scarves need to measure no wider than 4” – 6” and be no longer than 48” to 50”.

What size yarn and colors should I use?

We ask that you use a size 4 medium worsted weight (DK/Aran) yarn in muted colors that will match our troop’s uniforms. Blues, greens, grays, reds, browns, tan, and black are all good choices and also appropriate for both male and female troops. You can also use multi-colored yarn in these colors. Please do not send solid white hats or scarves. We have reviewed our policy with our Military advisors and have been cleared to accept a red, white, and blue combination.

Please do not use bulky yarn. We have a very limited amount of space in our care packages for handmade items and hats and scarves made from bulky yarn will not fit in our boxes. If you are making hats, please do not put a pom-pom on top. 

Should I attach a letter or note?

Yes! Please roll your note inside of your scarf or hat. The note can be as simple as “Handmade with Love” or a letter telling about yourself. Include your contact information—an email or “snail mail” address—so the recipient can send you a “thank you” if they have time. If you are uncomfortable using your personal address, feel free to use ours (info@operationgratitude.com) but please also include your full name so we can be sure to forward replies on to you.

Please do not wash your scarves and hats after they are made unless they have an odor (perfume, smoke etc.) or have animal hair on them. Many people are allergic to different types of laundry soap so please use fragrance-free hypoallergenic laundry soap.

Will I 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.

What’s the best way to ship my handmade items?

The most cost effective way to ship your items is usually a flat rate box from the post office. You can pick up the boxes for free at your local post office or order them online from the post office website and they will be shipped to you at no cost.

One suggestion to reduce excess space in the flat rate box is to place your hats and scarves in a vacuum seal bag inside your shipping box. When you vacuum out the excess air you should be able to fit 20-30 scarves/hats in each large flat rate box and ship each box for less than $20. You are not required to use the post office for your shipping, this is just a suggestion.

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.


  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 with Love Program
    9409 Owensmouth Avenue
    Chatsworth, CA 91311

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

We accept handmade items year-round.