Make Every Minute Count in 2019

A new year is a time for reflection, for setting goals, and for dreaming big.

When we reflect back on what Operation Gratitude accomplished in 2018, and in particular one 17-day stretch from November 29 to December 15 — we are inspired to dream big with you and set a bold goal for Operation Gratitude.

You see, in those 17 days, thousands of Operation Gratitude volunteers in San Antonio, Jacksonville, and Los Angeles assembled 25,000 Care Packages for Deployed Troops around the world, as well as for Wounded Heroes and Caregivers, Veterans and Recruit Graduates here at home. There are 24,480 minutes in 17 days, which means that from sea to shining sea, grateful Americans assembled more than one Care Package per minute.

Make Every Minute Count in 2019 with Operation Gratitude

Extending that out, we realize that if Operation Gratitude delivers 525,600 Care Packages in 2019, we will truly  Make Every Minute Count  with one package for every minute of the year!

Our “Make Every Minute Count” campaign launched on January 17, when hundreds of volunteers in our Nation’s Capital assembled 25,000 Care Packages and delivered them in person to First Responders, Recruit Graduates and National Guardsmen in Washington DC and nationwide… but that is just the beginning.

Make Every Minute Count in 2019 with Operation Gratitude

Operation Gratitude will only reach that goal if we expand what we are doing across America, one city at a time — taking the model that we have proven over the past two months in Texas, Florida, and DC to every corner of the USA.

Making every minute count  is achievable because we have the help of more than one million supporters who passionately believe in our mission and want to say “thank you” to our Military and First Responder heroes through hands-on volunteerism, acts of gratitude, and meaningful engagements in communities nationwide.

525,600 Care Packages equates to over half a million smiles — on the faces of our Deployed Troops knowing that while they are selflessly serving us in places far away, they are never far from the hearts of a grateful nation; New Recruit Graduates crossing the parade deck at Boot Camp graduation to serve our country for the first time; Caregivers in need of a dose of encouragement and their Wounded Heroes who glow knowing that their spouses are seen and appreciated; Veterans who will feel, many for the first time, that their service is remembered; First Responders who are thrilled to forge strong bonds in the communities they serve and protect; and Military Children who experience the comfort of a Battalion Buddy at a time when they miss their parent very much.

Make Every Minute Count in 2019 with Operation Gratitude

We look forward to hearing and sharing the stories of the lives touched by the #MakeEveryMinuteCount movement.  Our team at Operation Gratitude is honored and humbled to join with hundreds of thousands of you in all 50 states and DC to spend every minute of 2019 forging strong community bonds and thanking ALL who serve.

Happy New Year!

Kevin Schmiegel
CEO, Operation Gratitude on behalf of our entire team


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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.