Oorah! To Our RED Scarf Challenge Participants


As part of our year-long “Sweet 16” celebration, last month we invited our community of volunteers and supporters to compete in our 16-Day RED Scarf Challenge. We asked you to knit or crochet as many RED scarves as you could, in order to “Remember Everyone Deployed.”

In that short span of time, hundreds of you rose to the challenge and made more than 3,300 red scarves! That’s an average of 206 red scarves knitted each day of the competition. WOW and THANK YOU!

The RED Scarf Challenge may be over, but our need to send handmade-with-love items in our care packages isn’t!  We plan to make every minute count this year by sending 525,600 care packages–a package per minute– and with your help, we will be able to put a handmade gift in each one of them!

Now it’s time to announce and congratulate the winners.

The top 10 scarf makers are:

1st Place: Terri A., Hampshire, IL – 70 scarves
2nd Place: Barb M., Evanston, WY- 56 scarves
3rd Place: Melissa K., Stevensville, MD – 51 scarves
4th Place: Grace N., Stockton CA – 48 Scarves
5th Place: Wanda M., League City, TX – 41 Scarves
6th Place: Esperanza M., Springfield, IL – 34 Scarves
7th Place: Christa H., Hartford City, IN – 33 Scarves
8th place: Jacquie B., Fullerton, CA – 30 Scarves
8th place: Karen B., Johnson City, TN – 30 Scarves
8th place: Annemarie D., Whitestone, NY – 30 Scarves

The scarves made and donated by Terri, Barb, Melissa and all the other participants, will be shipped in Operation Gratitude Care Packages in the coming months. As we receive photos back from the recipients, we will be sure to share them with you here.

We cherish our volunteers and would like to share  some touching information about a few of our top scarf makers:

1st Place – Terri Adams

Terri began crocheting for Operation Gratitude in 2015 and to date, has donated nearly 4,000 scarves and hats! No one in her family has ever served in the military, but she wanted to see if her crochet talents could be put to use to thank the troops. She plans to keep making scarves and hats for years to come.

3rd Place – Melissa Keever

Melissa is currently the National Ms. East Coast USA. Melissa was a military brat and moved from state to state while her Mom was in the Air Force. Her brother is currently in the Army and she enjoys making hats and scarves for him and for all of our deployed troops!

4th Place – Grace Neurath

Grace’s brother is a Marine and she especially enjoys making scarves for our troops who rarely receive a package from home.

5th Place – Wanda Martin

Wanda loves to crochet and made her scarves in honor of her step-grandson Airman 1st Class Bradley G. Hale. Bradley lost his life while serving in Guam at just 20 years of age. He was laid to rest at the Veterans Cemetery in Houston on April 10th, 2018.

7th Place – Christa Hibbard

Christa entered the challenge to honor her family’s long tradition of serving our country. Her stepdaughter is a Purple Heart recipient and her dad served in Korea. She has 3 brothers who have also served.

Contact us with any questions you have and we will respond ASAP. To learn more about our Handmade With Love Programs or to volunteer, please click below.

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