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Operation Bandanas for Bragg, dba Operation Bandanas

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Christianity, Human Service Organizations, Human Services, Military & Veterans Organizations, Religion, Veterans

Mission: Ministering to our military with a Psalm 91 bandana, one soldier at a time.

Results: As of 9/11/11, Operation Bandanas has provided 180,000 Psalm 91 bandanas to our deployed troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. By year's end, we fully expect 200,000 bandanas to have been provided. We have donors from all over the country now. What started as a ministry to cover and bless deploying Ft. Bragg soldiers, has turned into a nationwide ministry of spiritual support and encouragement.

Target demographics: Our deployed military. Also, those serving in other parts of the world away from their families and home.

Direct beneficiaries per year: approximately 40,000

Geographic areas served: Whereever our military are training and preparing to deploy, and those deployed and serving in hostile environments and around the world.

Community Stories

42 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor

Rating: 5

Operation Bandana has been such a blessing to so many, to numerous to count. I pray that you will continue this great gift of love for many years to come. What a wonderful way to let those who serve us with such great sacrifice know that we appreciate what they do.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Operation Bandanas has been a great ministry partner and ministry multiplier with meeting the spiritual needs of soldiers undergoing US Army Infantry Training. They have been user friendly and made it possible to place Psalm 91 Bandanas in the hands of hundreds of our soldiers. Once our partnership was established they have made sure we have a ready supply on hand ready for ministry without us having to submit new requests. I wish more organizations were this proactive and willing to help!

1 Larry23

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I was mobilized at Fort Bragg as an Army Reserve Chaplain for over 9 years. During that time I was heavily involved with the Operation Bandana Ministry. I had the honor of sharing literally thousands of Psalm 91 bandanas with Soldiers. The bandanas were a great source of inspiration, comfort and peace to our Warriors. I could share many stories of how these bandanas were used by God to strength our Military Men and Women's faith. This is an awesome ministry and I was blessed to be a part of it. CH Mc

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have appreciated the mission of Operation Bandanas! Soldiers and Family members feel cared for with such a program and to think it all started with one Army Spouse who is also an Army Mom!! Mary Gray, the Founder of Operation Bandanas, has created a gift that is one avenue of support for our Military that addresses their spiritual resilience. Her website has testimonials on it but I am confident that the bandanas make a difference for many more than who can write in. We are reassured that although we may not know each individual story, that her bandanas provide a comfort both spiritually and physically (keeping the military member cooler or drier during the extreme heat of the Afghanistan and Iraqi summers)! Mary also works tirelessly to spread the word of her bandanas by attending events where she can share her project with military units so they learn about it and how to request some.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Operation bandanas has really encouraged me as a soldier! On my last deployment they sent me 3 boxes of bandanas to pass out. My whole unit was covered, and the unit next to us! Then when I had free time I would stand on the boardwalk in front of the dining facility and hand them to soldiers as they passed by. I don't remember one person turning them away and it opened the door for me to encourage them in the Lord! 
I carry mine in my breast pocket over my heart, not as a good luck charm but as a reminder that God is with me and His promises are true. Thank you so much for loving and encouraging me while I was away from everything I hold dear in life.
Sgt. King Leslie
B Co 1-141

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our church has been involved in preparing Bandanas for our service personnel. The Women's Group and the Youth Group were inspired by the activity. My son is a Chaplain in the Army and he praised the effect the Bandanas with the Psalm written on them had on the soldiers. This non profit ministry is worthy of any and all support that can be provided for the production and distribution of the Bandanas. It shows our military personnel that people do care and appreciate the sacrifices they are making for us.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Operation Bandanas
The service members here love the bandanas because they are easy to carry all the time. There is always a place for the bandanas in our uniform. They become an extension of our uniform. The bandanas can do so much for the service members. It is obvious that they need these bandanas in this very hot weather. When there is a violent sandstorm here or when there is strong wind, the bandanas are indeed very useful. The military people use them to cover their faces, clean their sunglasses, wipe their faces and even clean their weapons with the bandanas. The bandanas really take good care of us. And there is another side to the bandanas.
The Bandanas with the printed Psalm 91 becomes also sacred for the service members. They display the bandanas in their tents and in their offices. When other people see the bandanas being displayed, they become curious to read the Psalm 91 on the bandanas. Reading curiously the Psalm 91 on the bandanas becomes their introduction to something spiritual. Reading the Psalm 91 becomes their prayer and their union with the Divine. It is a very practical tool to have a connection with the Divine Presence. Bandanas become a profound moment of knowing and talking to Someone beyond oneself. The Bandanas become something much more. There is the feeling of security because we carry it all the time. This feeling of security is not only the bandana itself but the presence of the Divine that we discover when we read the Psalm 91 in the bandanas.

Donor

Rating: 5

Operation Bandana provides spiritual encouragement to our soldiers in the field. These young soldiers are making great sacrifices for the cause of freedom and are reminded each time they use this mutlti-useful item that God is there to uphold them. The children and adults of our church had the opportunity to color and write encouraging words on cards to be included with the bandana making the soldiers feel that those at home are supporting them. This small gift carries an
impacting message to members of all our armed forces.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Operation Bandanas is changing the lives of our soldiers, saving them physically and spiritually, one at a time. Many have never heard the word of God. The bandanas gives the chaplains the opportunity to tell them a little about the imporatnce of God, faith, prayer in their lives. The bandanas give them something tangible to hold on to, and keep close when they are fearful and in dangerous areas or situations. These bandanas are a reminder that God is watching out for them, someone loves, prays, appreciates and supports them back home. Op. Bandanas supplied, free of charge, numerous bandanas to families in our militry family support group to send to their soldiers that could not otherwise have purchased them. God Bless Mary for her passion toward our soldiers in this way. Ronna Jones, Coordinator, Military Family Support Group, Triangle Baptist Church, Raleigh, NC 919-661-7755, [email protected] www.tribaptist.org

Client Served

Rating: 5

These bandanas have encouraged many Soldiers and family members by reminding us of God's presence and protection everywhere we go. One Soldier's wife said, "I never let my husband deploy without one". Thanks so much for your loving support and the reminder that Almighty God is in control!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Operation Bandanas is a wonderful organization! I have three boys, all of whom have served or are currently serving our country in the Armed Forces. Since 2005, our church has been sending care packages to our troops. Each time we send boxes, we look for something inspiratonal to encourage our troops. Operation Bandanas provides the perfect tool that is compact and practical. These bandanas are a material item that soldiers can keep near them as a constant reminder of God's protection. Once I came in contact with Operation Bandanas, my search was over for inspiratonal material. These bandanas cover it all! I have heard many stories from soldiers that have kept these bandanas close to them during their battles because of the comfort they felt from the words of our Lord.

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a Battalion Chaplain in Iraq, I attended every convoy briefing and provided the final pre-convoy prayer for 12 months. Soldiers appreciated the prayers and the time we spend with them before they went out on a dangerous night convoy. Occasionally I went with them and they felt they had God with them. But on the nights that I could not go with them (there were many), soldiers always asked for things from my Chapel, tha had religious significance. I often gave them bibles, tokens with scriptures in them or simply a prayer, but when Operation Bandanas came around, I could not keep the bandanas in stock long enough to let the troops know I had some. Soldiers appreiciated the praticality of the bandanas in the dessert,but more importantly, the scripture inscribed. Every time I went to a convoy briefing before they got ready to go out, i would see troops wearing their bandanas, some under their helmet and others would have it in their pockets. What a blessing!! CH (CPT) Ruiz - US Army

Client Served

Rating: 5

As an Army wife I have been blessed by the mission of Operation Bandana. My husband, a chaplain went down range to do a morale tour for his chaplains and to encourage soldiers during a difficult time. I was given an Operation Bandana through a military minstry , Protestant Women of the Chapel (PWOC). My 2 children and I wrote personal prayers on his bandana and I tucked into his BDU pocket. He discovered the bandana when he was in the field. It reminded him that we were praying for him and for his mission of encouragement. Today it is framed and hanging on his office wall. It has become a spiritual touchstone that reminds us all of a time when God used His word and our prayers to support each other. Thank you, Operation Bandana for having the vision to honor and help military personel everywhere and their families in spiritual support.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Operation Bandanas fills a vital role in showing our Soldiers, Marines, Airmen, etc. that there are Christian Americans thinking and praying for them everyday. I see the effects of the war daily as soldiers process through Womack Army Medical Center in their treatment and rehabilitation. The Psalm 91 bandana is a tangible token of our love and concern for them.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am writing on behalf of Operation Bandana. While in Afghanistan from November 2009 to November 2010 I received about 100 bandanas from my Brigade Chaplain. I was with an Aviation unit at the time and we had a transportation platoon that would convoy outside of the wire to bring supplies to other bases or to recover damaged vehicles. Before the Soldiers would roll out I would lead them in a prayer. Many times we read Psalms 91. The Soldiers were very appreciative of the bandanas. Some of the Soldiers stretched out their bandanas and hung them up in their trucks, and others wore them. The bandanas offered them a physical reminder of God’s presence in our lives while facing potentially dangerous situations. The prayers and the bandanas were much appreciated by our Soldiers.
This past summer I was assigned to a Parachute Infantry Regiment in the 82nd Airborne Division. We are scheduled to deploy early next year to a very dangerous region of Afghanistan. We are a Battalion of over 800 and this time it will not just be a platoon going out but all of us will be out on the roads. Outside of the Bible the bandanas serve as a great physical reminder of God’s presence in our lives, especially during dangerous situations. I am looking forward to being able to provide each of our Paratroopers a bandana before we deploy early next year.

Thank you and God bless,
Chaplain (CPT) John Monahan
HHC 1-508 PIR 4BCT 82nd ABN
Fort Bragg, NC 28310
BB 910-973-0253

Client Served

Rating: 5

Mary,

It has been a blessing to work with Operation Bandana.

Why?

Because you should see the expressions of joy on the faces of our Soldiers and dependent family members as they receive a Bandana. They are blessed by receiving it, knocked out by the Army friendly pattern, and encouraged by the message of Psalm 91.

Then, you know why.

Furnished and shipped to our address at no cost to our organization, sent to give to people as we mobilize for a year's Active Duty service, Operation Bandana has provided a blessing that will stay with our people for the tour and likely through the remainder of their military career. It is an item that is convenient to carry with a timeless message to ease the anxious heart.

Thank you.

God bless us all!

CH (LTC) Ben Hodge
[email protected]
113th Sustainment Brigade

Client Served

Rating: 5

Operation Bandanas ' bandanas have been a great addition to our Chaplain's Box at Military Ministry. The Chaplain's tell me that the troops love them and that they want more. All I have to do is to pass on their request to Operation Bandanas and they graciously and timely take care of the need. This is a wonderful organization that provides a practical as well as a spiritual gift to oue Service Men and Women. This is a great cause to support.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We invited Mary Gray to participate in the Kentucky Woman's Missionary Union Annual Meeting in 2010. She and her husband drove up from North Carolina to bring a display and tell about her work. With several military installations in our state, we felt that this was an extremely important ministry in support of our military personnel. People attending our meeting were very interested in this ministry and wanted to know how to get the Psalm 91 bandanas to send to soldiers that they knew. We pray that this ministry will continue to grow and that people from across America will get bandanas to share with our soldiers.

Donor

Rating: 5

Operation Bandanas is an amazing organization for our military. I feel the bandanas give our military a form of comfort knowing our Lord is watching over them and protecting them. My son, Joshua, is a Marine who deployed in 2009. Before deploying I made a copy of Psalm 91 for him to put in his wallet, little did I know what would happen next. He was deployed from March-Sept, he had a son born during his deployment. He and his family came home for Christmas that year and he presented me with his Psalm 91 bandana. He told me it had his sweat and dirt from Iraq in it, he did not wash it because he knew I would want it just like it was. I had it framed and it now hangs in my living room. I am very proud of our military and pray the Lords umbrella of protection over them. I know there are men and women who have come to know the Lord through the bandanas and Praise God for every soul saved!!!! I am honored to be a part of Operation Bandanas through my donations.

8

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Operation Bandanas is a wonderful non-profit organization that wholeheartedly loves the American troops! The founder, Mary Gray, is married to a retired US Soldier and has three sons who have served or who are serving in the military. She understands the military life and wants to encourage every soldier she can through this God inspired organization. The money given for each bandana is well spent to support the troops in their Faith in the One True God! Praise Him for His inspiration in this organization!

Review from Guidestar

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

After 28 years on Active Duty as a Chaplain I have worked with many non-profits org., I would place "Operation Bandanas" #1 With an attitude of selfless service Operation Bandanas has faithfully for the last four year provide thousands of "Psalms 91" Bandanas free of charge to my deploying soldier. As the unit's chaplain I have seen in the faces of our soldiers, renewed hope, encouragement and heart felt appreciation. There are hundred of volunteers in the shadows of Operation Bandanas who give freely of their time talent and treasures to bring our Soldiers closer to God and God closer to our Soldiers Tom Drake, CH (RET)

Review from Guidestar

7

Board Member

Rating: 5

I was in the Sunday school class where Mary Gray first announced that the Lord was calling her to establish the Bandanas ministry. Our Sunday school class has helped her raise money to purchase bandanas for the soldiers every since that day. I am one of the original board members and have watched in amazement how that we have gone from trying to raise funds to purchase the first 100 bandanas to now having given 100,000 bandanas to soldiers all over the world. The life changing testimonies from both the soldiers who receive these "free" bandanas and from the chaplains who distribute them are so encouraging to Mary, her board members, and all christians who know about this ministry. The Lord is truly in this ministry as it has now spread all over the USA. Mary has spread the message about this ministry through issuing a monthly news letter, traveling all across the country telling about the ministry, & writing numerous articles about the ministry. People, organizations & churches all over the country are now raising money to purchase bandanas with a goal of giving a bandanas to every deployed soldier.

Review from Guidestar

6

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son was in Iraq in 2006 and again in 2008 with USMC. When he deployed in '08, a friend of mine sent us a Bandana with the 91st Psalm on it....John folded it and put it between his heart and his flak jacket and wore it every day on missions. When he came home it smelled sooooo bad! (He was there Feb-Sept) I washed it, ironed it and had it framed for him for Christmas! He cried when he opened it and now has it hanging in his new home! Now, whenever I know of a soldier being deployed, I try to get a Bandana in his/her hand. It is a wonderful "witnessing" tool, I have had so many letters from soldiers thanking me. I know there have been seeds sown and God is watering, nurturing!! This is an amazing Ministry!!

5

Donor

Rating: 5

We are thankful we came across Operation Bandana on line last Fall. We have a son heading to Afghanistan in 4 weeks so we purchased enough bandanas for his platoon. We believe the greatest gift we can give to those who serve in harms way is the Word of God. Operation Bandana has made this easy to do by having Psalm 91 written on the bandanas as a daily reminder to our soldiers that God loves them and that he is hiding them under His wing. Operation Bandana also makes it easy for those in the community to show appreciation to those who serve our county. Donations are necessary to cover the cost and shipping of the bandanas and giving, on-line through pay pal, makes it easy to say thanks. A special thanks to Mary Gray for helping the West Point Prayer and Share group in Dallas be able to make a difference in the lives of our own sons and daughters and those they lead.

8

Board Member

Rating: 5

As President of the Board of Directors of Operation Bandanas for the past 15 months, as well as a Board Member and volunteer since its inception in 2006, I have been truly blessed by my association with this wonderful ministry. Also serving as webmaster for our website, I never cease to be touched by the many heartfelt thank you's and requests we receive from our Servicemen and women. Mary Gray's God-given inspiration to establish this ministry has not only reached out to over 104,000 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines but also has blessed every single volunteer who has ever worked with Operation Bandanas.

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Operation Bandanas for Bragg has been a true blessing to the men and women from our community and beyond. The work this organization does to support our men and women in uniform is wonderful

Review from Guidestar

4

Donor

Rating: 5

Operation Bandanas, begun in Fayetteville NC is truly a great non-profit organization dedicated to providing ministry and encouragement to soldiers in our armed forces. A simple Psalm 91 bandana has uplifted many and serves as continual encouragement to many. Mary Gray is a tireless person, led by God's spirit to be a blessing to soldiers and all members of our armed forces. This gruop does wonderful work!!

Review from Guidestar

9

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a part of OpBan since 6/08. It has been a real blessing to work along side of Mary Gray, Executive Director, and see her level of commitment I have helped fold bandanas and assisted in some of the administrative duties. It seems so amazing that what seems like a small effort can make such a positive impact on those who receive these ban- danas. God truly gets glory in even our small efforts.

Review from Guidestar

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

I wanted to write and tell you what a blessing Operation Bandanas has been to my soldiers. I have given away hundreds of these to U.S. servicemembers across Afghanistan. They become a precious, cherished gift of hope, comfort, and love. Servicemembers often put them in their helmets to absorb the perspiration of the desert heat and symbolically remind them of God's protection over them. Sometimes they simply put them in their pocket and then use them when needed. Other times, when a soldier I am counseling will begin crying, I will present them with one of these to wipe their tears away. What a blessing to be reminded of God's protection over your life every time you pull it out. The Psalm 91 bandana is a very relevant way for every servicemember to take the comforting, Holy words of the Bible with them wherever they go. Mary Gray and her staff are kind, courteous, and caring professionals. They are the best--God bless them. Chaplian Eric Bundrick, US Army Afghanistan

Review from Guidestar

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As Huddle Sponsor for the Middle School Fellowship of Christian Athletes at Ouachita Christian School in Monroe, LA, I was the facilitator for an Operation Bandanas campaign at our school (Grades Pre-K - 12). Each child who purchased a bandana made a card accompanied by a personal note to go with his or her individually packaged bandana. The children thoroughly enjoyed participating in this project and became more aware of our military, motivating the students to keep the soldiers in their prayers. This is a most worthwhile project!

Review from Guidestar

10

Donor

Rating: 5

Operation Bandanas is an EXCEPTIONAL non-profit organization. Not only are they finding a way to support our troops, but they are doing it with a wonderful spiritual message that our men & women in harms way need to hear. These bandanas provide our heroes with much more than just a piece of fabric. They give them spiritual food, a shield of protection, a cloth to wipe their brow, and much more. These bandanas have touched so many lives & I know they will do amazing things for so many more!

Review from Guidestar

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Thousands of men and women in the military have received a "not-so-big" piece of fabric made into a Bandana with the Holy Scripture, Psalm 91 printed on it. This Bandana can be used for so many things, such as a sweat rag, wash cloth, a tourniquet, sand mask, and especially a reminder of a promise from God how He protects us from the storms of life. All of this due to a special lady answering God's call. What peace and comfort this gives these service men and women as well as any/all who read and believe. From the letters, emails, etc. received by the Bandana Operation it makes one weep with joy when hearing what these have meant to them

11

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I gave a psalm 91 bandana to a friend who was deploying to a dangerous area in Irag. At a family dinner given for him upon his return home a year later, he pulled out the bandana from his pocket. He passed it around the table and asked everyone to look at it. When it returned to him, with a crack in his voice, he told his family members the significance of the bandana. He said that he had it with him 24/7 (except the shower!) the entire time he was deployed. Obviously this simple piece of material with God's word printed on it gave him a great sense of peace and safety each time he was in harm's way. With tears in her eyes, his mother related this story to me. The deployed chaplains say that the minute their boxes of bandanas are opened, they vanish in a minute. This group is doing a wonderful thing for our military men and women. Every bandana which is sent out, is paid for by DONATIONS.

13

Former Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband and I lived in Fayetteville, NC for several years and knew Mary Gray personally and consider her a good friend. This project is amazing. We have donated funds and also worked folding and getting the bandanas ready for shipping. Our Air Force son has one and it is comforting to know that the bandana goes with him on his many tours of duty. God's Word is powerful, and it is a privilege to get these into the hands of our military.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 3

Operation Bandanas is the best mission project to involve all ages of our church. Our church is partnering with Mary Gray and we all enjoy folding, packaging and getting Psalm 91 Bandanas ready for mailing. In less than six months our small church has purchased and mailed nearly 1000 of these bandanas to our military men and women in Afghanistan. They are distributed by Chaplains and the most recent was sent to a chapel being built there. It is most rewarding to get an email from an airman and then one from his wife telling us that "he will keep the bandana with him wherever he goes" and what a difference one church can make in the lives of those who are in harms way to protect our freedoms. Psalm 91 Bandana is a small but powerful way to show our love and pray for each receipient. Operation Bandanas is a mission project that everyone can participate in and many thanks to Mary Gray who began this ministry in 2006.

Review from Guidestar

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Operation Bandanas is an amazing ministry to our troops. I had the opportunity to interview Mary Gray on my blog talk radio show. She shared the many testimonies of the service men and women who had received the bandanas with Scripture on it. I was so blessed to hear stories of men and women who wore the bandanas while they were in combat, or they put it in one of their pockets, or tied them around their arms. They told of being comforted by the Scripture verses and knowing they were loved and in people's prayers. I pray the Lord continues to bless and grow this ministry.

Review from Guidestar

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My wife and I go to our church twice a month to fold and pack bandannas, that are going to various chaplains of units that are due to deploy. These bandannas are created for the use of all branches of the military. The unit of our church is made up of many different volunteers and we receive no compensation and or charge no compensation. The bandannas are paid for by donations from not only our church members but members of the community as well. Eddie hollingsworth

Review from Guidestar

10

Client Served

Rating: 5

They were willing to send us a box of Psalm 91 bandanas while we're in E. Afghanistan. I distributed them to our Warriors in 7 different locations. The bandanas encouraged them and gave them the faith needed to finish the mission well.

Review from Guidestar

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Operation Bandanas is a very meaningful ministry showing love, support, prayers, appreciation to our Military who are deployed in harm's way by providing each soldier with a Psalm 91 bandana as they deploy. Our troops are finding their bandanas to be very useful tools in the sands of the deserts, as sweat bands in the heat, as tourniquets in emergencies, as a gift of love and support from loved ones in the states, and a reminder of God's presence wherever they find themselves. I can't think of a better way to show our love and support for our troops, as well as, place the Word of God for strength and power for our troops while serving. Support our troops!

Review from Guidestar

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I contacted Mary when my son found out he was going to be deployed to Iraq on Christmas Eve '07 and asked for a Psalm 91 bandana for his to carry with him. She quickly sent me one to pack and send with him on his way. While in Baghdad, Iraq, he and another soldier switched post and during the night, the other soldier was shot and killed. My son had this bandana in his pocket and I feel sure that helped him to be safe. She runs an awesome organization and I recommend this to all soldiers or families of soldiers who are being deployed. She is an amazing lady!!

Review from Guidestar

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Thanks to Operation Bandanas, the wives of 25 deploying Chaplains from Ft. Carson, CO received a Psalm 91 BDU handkerchief. Each of their Chaplain husbands also received a bandana. Mary Gray graciously donated these to our group when I was planning a "Deployment 101 -A Spiritual Perspective Workshop". The handkerchiefs are being used as a type of prayer cloth for these couples.

Review from Guidestar

5

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Operation Bandanas is a great ministry that individuals, groups, or churches can do. You can buy the Psalms 91 bandanas and send them to troops as they are deployed or you can make this a ministry partnerhsip with your church and Operation Bandanas. Often individuals will include a personal note with the bandanas. I've referred this ministry to lots of WMU groups in our churches and we have seen women love to be involved in this ministry. It is very doable for any size church. Testimonies from the soldiers speak to the value of this ministry. I rate it very high as to its effectiveness and ease of use.

Review from Guidestar