Since 2017, Operation Gratitude has delivered over 125,000 Care Pouches to Military and First Responder Recruit Graduates across the nation.

These care pouches were delivered to Airmen at Lackland AFB, to Sailors in Great Lakes, IL,  to Coast Guardsmen in Cape May, NJ and to Marines at MCRD in San Diego, CA!

Operation Gratitude Recruit Graduate Care Pouch

what’s inside the POUCH?

Each item included in a Recruit Graduates Care Pouch is donated by corporations and individuals who want to express their gratitude to the newest Recruit Graduates who have selflessly made the commitment to serve and protect our nation.

Companies like Mars, 5-Hour Energy and Hero Wipes help us fill the signature red Operation Gratitude pouches with items for the graduates who will immediately be in route to their next command after graduation.

The pouches also include handmade paracord bracelets made by grateful Americans who want to show their appreciation.



In San Diego, CA, Operation Gratitude is on-site hand delivering care pouches to America’s newest United States Marines. Our volunteers (ages 13+), are given the opportunity to individually engage in meaningful conversations of appreciation with Recruit Graduates in Support Operation Gratitude’s mission of local community involvement.

See the opportunities below and join us!

2021 MCRD San Diego Volunteer Opportunities

As the safety of our volunteers, staff, and recipients is always of paramount importance, we have been closely monitoring the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation locally and nationally.  In accordance with the guidelines provided by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and other public health organizations, and as a precautionary measure, MCRD volunteer opportunities have been cancelled indefintely. 

Through this decision and in our daily operations, we are actively taking measures to reduce the exposure or accidental transmission of COVID-19. We will continue to assess the situation, and provide routine updates through our website, social media. 

In the interim, please review this great guide to volunteering from the comfort of your home with Operation Gratitude and join our new Facebook group for OG volunteers here.  We greatly appreciate any and all of your efforts to say “Thank You” to all who serve!


Show Your Gratitude

Help Send a Care Pouch
Donate items from our Wish List to fill the Care Pouches.

 Wish List


Did you receive a care package? JOIN OUR ALUMNI NETWORK →

our impact

“I have been blessed to be given the opportunity to put my time and efforts into volunteering with Operation Gratitude. One of my new favorite experiences being at the MCRD in San Diego. The looks of pure pride on the new Marines faces is something I will never forget. The proud families who can’t help but smile as you give their Marine that care pouch is such an amazing feeling. Operation Gratitude is filled with hardworking volunteers who all want the same thing, to put a smile on our heroes faces. I have no words to describe how lucky I feel to get to be a part of that.” -Mary Kohaut, Volunteer

“I learned that a majority of these young Marines are several miles from home, and many of their family members could not be be at their graduation.  So I make a extra special effort to extend a kind word and make sure they know they are appreciated for their choice to join, and to express that Operation Gratitude is an organization they and their family members can rely upon for their “touch of home”.” -Mary Burton, Volunteer