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Thanking the Thankers

I’m not exaggerating when I say that I love everything about my job at Operation Gratitude.

As the organization’s Donor Relations Coordinator, I get to call the incredible people all over the United States who send product donations to Operation Gratitude. From letters to paracord bracelets and items from our “Wish List,” every single donation matters and every person who chooses to invest their time, money and effort in making a donation deserves our sincerest thanks.

Besides the joy that it brings me to speak with our donors, one of the reasons why I love my job so much is because Operation Gratitude has made an impact on me personally for more than a decade. I first volunteered with Operation Gratitude when I was in in middle school. Now as a military spouse, law enforcement spouse (yes, same guy — two careers at once) and mom to three little ones whose daddy is currently on yet another deployment, Operation Gratitude’s mission to say “thank you” to all who serve is not only the core of my job, it is a part of my life.

Each weekday I scroll through a list of donations, and if the donor has shared their phone number, I reach out hoping to speak to the person on the other end and let them know how thankful we are for them and for everything they sent us.

That’s it.

No matter how large or small the gift, I don’t have a hidden agenda beyond expressing gratitude for their donation on behalf of Operation Gratitude.

As a military spouse I am honored and humbled by the gratitude shown by our thousands of volunteers across the country who choose Operation Gratitude to help carry their message of thanks to those who serve.

I married my Marine in 2011, four years into his first enlistment. Three years later, his time in the Marine Corps came to an end, and he transitioned to the Army National Guard and the Los Angeles Police Department. Soon after, we were moved to Fort Bragg in North Carolina for an Army course, then back home to California before he left on his fourth combat deployment in less than 10 years.

To say our life has been an adventure is an understatement, and through it all, Operation Gratitude has been a part of it. Before my husband began boot camp in 2007, he volunteered at an Operation Gratitude assembly day, something I had been doing with my mom for years. Since then, he has received an Operation Gratitude care package on each deployment, and our kids have received Battalion Buddies. Now as a police officer with the LAPD, he and his division have received First Responder Care Pouches.

While our story is not wholly unique, the opportunity I have to interact daily with people who have directly and indirectly impacted my family’s life and many families like ours is a unique gift that I will never take for granted. None of the care packages our family has received would be possible without the generosity and kindness of Operation Gratitude’s donors. In fact, NONE of the MILLIONS of Operation Gratitude Care Packages for deployed Service Members, military kids, Veterans and First Responders would be possible without the incredibly generous donors whose time, resources, and love makes up the heart of Operation Gratitude.

My husband, children and I are grateful to you all. Thank you.

Now as a part of a new blog series, “Thanking the Thankers,” I have the privilege of introducing you to some extraordinary donors from all over the United States. I can’t wait to share their stories and highlight the immense support these Americans show our Military, Veterans, and First Responders through Operation Gratitude. Like I tell them when I call, without their generosity and kindness, we couldn’t do what we do.

In the meantime, if you’d like to know more about how you too can be a part of Operation Gratitude’s mission, find out how you can help no matter where you live by visiting our website.

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