SAY “Thank You”
Every Operation Gratitude Care Package includes a bundle of letters from the American people, thanking Troops, Veterans, New Recruits, or First Responders for their service to our country. Care Package recipients tell us these letters, notes, and drawings are the most cherished items in their box.
- Letters are accepted year-round.
- We have a special need for letters specifically written to New Recruits, Veterans, and First Responders.
HOW TO WRITE A LETTER
Write to a:
currently overseas in harm’s way
served our country in the past
just completed Boot Camp and has sworn to serve for the next 4 or more years
a firefighter, paramedic, or member of law enforcement
All deserve to be thanked for their commitment and bravery!
- Start with a generic salutation, such as “Dear Hero” or “Dear Brave One.”
- Express your thanks for their selfless service.
- Avoid politics completely and religion in excess; however, saying you will pray for them is wonderful.
- Share a little about yourself: Family, Hobbies, Work, School, Pets, Travel, etc.
- Talk about life and interests: Sports, Weather, Music, Movies, Food, Books, etc.
- Adults: Include your contact information (mail or email) so the letter recipient can reply. (Recipients may or may not write back; please do not be disappointed if you do not receive a response.)
- Children’s Letters: Include first names only and do not include addresses (an adult’s address can be used).
- Can’t find the words? Consider drawing or painting a picture instead; please add a note to kids’ drawings with their age.
- No glitter or confetti please!
- Do not put your individual cards or letters in envelopes—they are not needed and create a burden for our letter screeners.
- Please don’t date your letters, sometimes it can take up to a few months for our Care Packages to be received after they are sent.
Holiday cards need to be received two to three months prior to the holidays in order for them to reach our service members on time. Once we receive letters, it takes us time to screen, sort, and collate them for our Care Packages, and then we must factor in shipping time. If your letters will arrive less than two months before the holidays, please send general letters of appreciation (rather than holiday greetings) so they may be used year-round.
SHIP YOUR ITEMS TO US
- Sort your letters by recipient type: Deployed Troop, Veteran, New Recruit, or First Responder.
- Fill out our Donor Form and print a copy for each box that you send.
COMPLETE DONATION FORM
- Put all loose artwork and letters/cards (no individual envelopes) in a large envelope or box according to their recipient type, and ship to:
ATTN: Letter Writing Program
21100 Lassen Street
Chatsworth, CA 91311-4278
I’m always excited to receive a package! I’ve gotten great pleasure in reading the personal handwritten letters and drawings from kids and adults alike, and I’ve got a few with addresses that I will be replying to today.”