OPERATION GRATITUDE INC

Rating: 4.91 stars   188 reviews

Issues: Human Services

Location: 16444 Refugio Road Encino CA 91436 USA

Mission: Hundreds of thousands of American troops are deployed in hostile and remote regions of the world, including the Middle East, Afghanistan, and on ships throughout international waters. The physical conditions they must endure are difficult and they may be separated from loved ones for long periods of time. OPERATION GRATITUDE seeks to lift troops'' morale, and bring a smile to their faces by sending care packages to service members deployed overseas. OPERATION GRATITUDE care packages contain food, toiletries, entertainment items and personal letters of appreciation, all wrapped with good wishes of love and support. Through Collection Drives, Letter Writing Campaigns and Donations of requested items or funds for shipping expenses, OPERATION GRATITUDE provides civilians anywhere in America a way to express their respect and appreciation to the men and women of the U.S. military in an active, hands-on manner. OPERATION GRATITUDE is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, volunteer-based corporation, funded entirely by private donations. For safety and security, the assembling of all packages occurs at the Army National Guard Armory in Van Nuys, CA.
Programs: Operation Gratitude annually sends 100,000 care packages addressed to individual service members deployed in combat zones around the world.
2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

I have been volunteering with Operation Gratitude since Memorial Day Weekend 2004 and I have no intention of stopping! I knew immediately that it made Memorial Day more meaningful and personal to me & I still feel that way. I have been privileged to work in many areas and find good people in every one of them who are glad to be together doing something so personal to support our troops.

As the operation has grown, so have the friendships and determination to serve our troops, our vets, and their families and caretakers. I am always amazed at the generosity of our donors and the dedication of our volunteers, both on the weekends when we assemble packages to ship and during the week when all the behind the scenes get dirty kind of work has to be done.

I'm proud to be a volunteer and a donor to Operation Gratitude and I invite all of you in the LA area to come on down and check us out.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

I started volunteering at Operation Gratitude on Memorial Day of 2004 and I knew immediately that there was no place I would rather be on such an important holiday. I continue to volunteer (now every week day that I can) because Operation Gratitude gives me a tangible way to say thank you to our deployed troops.
The hearts of the people who donate and volunteer are focused on sharing a piece of home with our deployed military forces to remind them and assure them that we know they are 'there' and we miss and support them.
The donations are from volunteers and corporate sponsors. The work is done by a wide ranging collection of volunteers who come because they want to make a difference and leave as 'friends and family'.
The goal of our organization is not just to do more, but to do it better and to help donations get delivered intact and with a personal touch. Many donors come to put their donations into the boxes on the assembly line themselves.
It's a great place to 'serve' those who are serving us every day.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Thank you emails from dozens of deployed troops who take the time to let us know they received our package and what they did about it.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Help them secure more protected storage areas for the donations and the processing.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I have volunteered in the community for over 40 years and helping with Operation Gratitude for 8 years has been the most rewarding volunteer experience of my life! Incredibly organized and always looking to improve. Operation Gratitude has developed an excellent reputation in the Los Angeles area and has thousands of volunteers who show up for every drive. Its founder, Carolyn Blashek, is one of the most honest, trustworthy and dedicated women I have ever known, and always handles things with class. It is an honor to be part of this organization.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I started volunteering for Operation Gratitude over 5 years ago and it has been a very rewarding experience for me. I have met an extraordinary group of people who are so devoted to helping our servicemen and women. Every package that leaves the Armory carries with it this devotion and pride that comes with being associated with Operation Gratitude. I am honored to have found a way to give back to those who have sacrificed so much.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I have been volunteering at this wonderful organization for 7 years. Not only do I love being there everyday, but I feel a wonderful connection with our dedicated troops that sacrifice soooo much for us. I feel that they are all my children and I need to send them all love and gratitude for what they do. All the volunteers are patriotic, loving group and fun to be with. Don't know what I would do without all of them.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

On day one after first walking in the door of Operation Gratitude with bags of donations for our service members, I have felt the strong pull of community and camaraderie as the hard corps. volunteers weave an intricate yet simple message to the service members from all branches in the care packages they assemble. That message is “Thank You and you are not forgotten”.

From those early years through today, Operation Gratitude has sown it’s good deeds around the globe; from troops on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan, to ships at sea off foreign coasts as well as the aircraft that patrol the skies over lands hostile to them. It has been a privilege to work alongside all the volunteers with their cheerful spirit and enthusiasm. I’ve met many people in my years and the volunteers of Operation Gratitude are the best-of-the-best.

People who walk in to observe are warmly welcomed to help if they have time to offer; give an hour or volunteer all day. Write a letter, write a check. Help pack, help stack. There’s always something to help with and every package you touch will carry your love and appreciation to a soldier, sailor, airman or Marine who’s on the other side of the world.

One of the best feelings you will ever have in your life.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I found this amazing group in 2010, and am so proud to volunteer for such a great cause. I am amazed at how many people have become so devoted to this organization, and the troops that it supports. From the first time volunteer, to the people who have been there from the beginning, everyone is treated as if they are the most important person who walked in the door, and are another member of the family. The atmosphere is fun and lighthearted, and yet we send care packages out the door at a startling pace.

I couldn't be more proud of the work that we do, and the difference we make every time a care package is shipped. I think about the soldier, marine, sailor, or airman that will open that box, and for at least that moment, home isn't so far away.

All I know, is that I have found my direction in life, and I am thrilled to be along for the ride.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I am an Air Force veteran and the Commander of the Woodland Hills American Legion Post 826. I have been a volunteer for Operation Gratitude since it's beginning at the local Nation Guard Armory. This operation started in the front room of the founder Carolyn Blashek and has grown through volunteers to the oint where we will be sending out our Millionth package this December. I would think that this makes this organization one of if not the best Volunteer organizations in the country and the world. I have personally visited with some of the recipients of these packages and they tell me that in some cases the contents have saved lives and provided that special vote of confidence from the home front. This organization needs national recognition. On some days we have over 1000 volunteers packing, writing letters, taping, addressing labels , and shipping packages to those who serve in harms way for this wonderful country of ours. Hats off to all who are associated with this great organization where all costs are underwritten by monetary & Product donations from the public and corporate sponsors .

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

After starting to volunteer at Operation Gratitude in 2004 they have put smiles on the faces of hundreds of thousand of troops around the world. I am proud to be a part of the organization.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

This is a quality organization that really makes a difference. Check them out and volunteer, you will have fun and meet fantastic people.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

There is so much love and care put into every care package assembled by Operation Gratitude.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful?