5,000 Care Packages for Deployed Troops

From June 27-29, 2020 Operation Gratitude and their volunteers came together at the DC National Guard Armory in Washington, DC to assemble 5,000 care packages for Deployed Troops. Kristen Powers of WJLA ABC 7 in Washington, DC was there to cover the event!


Featured on PHL17 Morning News, our CEO, Kevin Schmiegel explains how to give back and give a piece of your heart to the men and women serving on the frontlines.


As the COVID-19 pandemic continued to impact the Military and First Responder community, Operation Gratitude stayed true to its mission and led the charge to provide support and gratitude to those who serve.

How virtual volunteering is sending help from a distance

As people stay home during the coronavirus pandemic, some are still lending a helping hand from a distance. For Weekend TODAY, NBC’s Catie Beck shines a spotlight on organizations, like Operation Gratitude, that are keeping volunteers connected.

12 Days of Giving

COO Paul Cucinotta shares on Fox & Friends how the mission of Operation Gratitude is especially impactful over the holiday season and how Americans can get involved.

B&O Railway Museum

In June 2019, Operation Gratitude and CSX joined together at the B&O Railway Museum in Baltimore, MD to assemble thousands of Care Pouches for Law Enforcement Officers, Firefighters, EMTs, and National Guardsmen serving in Baltimore and surrounding cities.

JFK airport, NEW york city

On Thursday, September 5, 2019 Operation Gratitude, along with hundreds of volunteers came together in New York City to assembly 10,000 Care Packages. This Fox & Friends live Interview with our Founder Carolyn Blashek and CEO, retired Marine LtCol Kevin Schmiegel, answers the three questions we get asked most often.

  1. How did Operation Gratitude get started?
  2. What goes in our Care Packages and what makes them so special?
  3. Why is Operation Gratitude’s mission more important than ever?

Aboard the USS Midway

Sunday, May 26, 2019, we joined forces with the USS Midway Museum to offer a one-of-a-kind volunteer experience assembling Care Pouches for First Responders, and our nations newest Marines in San Diego.

Washington, D.C. Armory

On Thursday, January 17, 2019, Operation Gratitude, with the help of our BRIDGE COUNCIL, brought together volunteers from the DC Metro area to assemble 25,000 of our signature red Care Pouches which were distributed to First Responders and National Guardsmen locally and nationwide.  


Bridging the divide happens when words meet action. Kevin Schmiegel, CEO of Operation Gratitude and Sherman Gillums Jr., Cheif Advocacy Officer of AMVETS, and member of the BRIDGE Council share how Operation Gratitude is uniquely positioned to support the Military and First Responder Community.  Read the article. 

Operation Gratitude Becomes First Nonprofit to Deliver 250,000 Care Packages to Healthcare Heroes, National Guardsmen, and First Responders in More Than 200 Locations Nationwide.  Read the article. 

At Operation Gratitude we are fortunate to have a CEO, Kevin Schmiegel and COO, Paul Cucinotta with over 47 years combined Military leadership experience. Their leadership has been instrumental in navigating our response to #covid19. In an article on Medium, they share the lessons learned from their military careers and how to apply these during times of crisis.  Read the article. 

In recognition of the 18th anniversary of 9/11 and a National Day of Service, our CEO, Kevin Schmiegel, and former U.S. Marshal, Patrick Burke, point to hands-on volunteerism as a way to say thank you to all who serve in this Military Times OpEd. Learn more.




In honor of our 16 year anniversary, Operation Gratitude challenged crafters across the country to send in hand-made red scarves for Deployed Troops. Learn more.

The New York Times highlights Operation Gratitude’s letter writing program and shares how handwritten notes can spread the love! Learn more.

In Baltimore area, 10,000 first responders to get special thanks from Operation Gratitude. Learn more.