Each year Operation Gratitude receives thousands of Beanie Babies from grateful Americans across the country, and one goes in every single Care Package we send to service members deployed around the world.
We made Beanie Babies a signature item in our Care Packages not only because they bring smiles to the faces of our deployed troops, but also because they help American forces build goodwill around the world.
This is abundantly clear in the words of a young Marine Lance Corporal who wrote to us.
“I am one of the many Marines that you sent a Care Package. I want to thank each and every one of you for supporting us and for letting us know how much people support us back at home. I live with 17 Marines and Sailors in one room. Everyone got a package and everyone loved it, especially the cookies and beanie babies. The cookies are excellent and the beanie babies help us out a lot with the local kids. We give them candy and toys and they give us the location for IEDs. Once again, thank you for everything and for all the hard work that you put into the package.”
We heard similar stories from Soldiers, Marines, Airmen and Sailors who built goodwill with children in the Middle East, Africa and ports all over the world through the Beanie Babies our volunteers have donated.