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Operation Gratitude Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Human Services

Mission: Operation Gratitude’s mission is to lift the spirits and meet the evolving needs of our First Responder, Active Duty, Veteran, and Wounded Hero communities. We also seek to provide volunteer opportunities for all Americans to express their appreciation for these deserving Heroes through hands-on volunteerism, such as collection drives, letter writing campaigns, handcrafted “Made with Love” projects, and care package assembly events. Every year, Operation Gratitude sends 250,000+ individually-addressed care packages to Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines deployed overseas and to their children left behind. Also, to New Recruits, Veterans, First Responders, Wounded Heroes and their caregivers. Each package contains food items, hygiene products, entertainment, handmade items, and handwritten letters of support. Operation Gratitude is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, volunteer-based corporation, funded entirely by private donations.

Results: Since its inception in March, 2003, Operation Gratitude volunteers have assembled and shipped more than 1,500,000 care packages.

Programs: Operation Gratitude annually sends 250,000 care packages addressed to individual service members deployed in combat zones around the world.

Community Stories

185 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is one organisation that keeps getting bigger and better.
They just moved to a new Facility in Chatsworth.

Previous Stories
3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Operation Gratitude is a true Charity where 96+% of all money donated goes back to the Vets for postage. All merchandise donated comes from Americas Best Companies such as,Target, Disney, Sony, See's Candies, and many many others. Additionally donations come from groups who send in donations of food, books, scarves, in addition to checks!
The volunteers are from middle schools as far as fifty miles away to seniors in their eighties, who show up every day! I have worked at other Charities, but this is the best.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

2006 was my start with Operation Gratitude that we read about in the newspaper. I was interested as a boot at Fort Ord during basic back in the 1950's in the package I received from my friends in LA. I saw the opportunity to provide that same feeling to the troops overseas today. This is the main volunteer service that we are able to do together.
JKT

Review from Guidestar

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My son and I have been volunteering at Operation Gratitude for 6 years now. What an incredible organization! We have volunteered at almost every prep or assembly day, helping to put together packages to be shipped to deployed military personnel, as well as wounded warriors and veterans. My father was career Air Force and my brother served in Vietnam. So I know how important it is to our troops to receive something during Mail Call. Supporting our troops is so important, and Operation Gratitude definitely gets the job done in an efficient and cost-effective way. Please donate, not only goods but your time -- you won't be sorry, and you'll know your efforts are greatly appreciated.

1 Kathleeya M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering because I was not able to serve my country. I wanted to do something for our soldiers and the families and friends that supported them. Being a wife of a Veteran, makes me happy just knowing how many incredible people out there. I am glad that I volunteer at such an amazing organization.

Ruth23

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been working with OpGrat since 2010 and look forward to volunteering every time I get the chance to go. We drove 35 miles one way in LA traffic to get there and still enjoy the people and work that t hey do for our true American heroes.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is an organization that makes soldiers in the field of battle know that they are not forgotten here at home and that what they are doing is greatly appreciated and important. Each box sent is filled with items that may be hard for them to get, but most importantly a hand written letter thanking them personally for their service. Heartfelt items like home made knitted scarves , woven bracelets, phone cards, girl scout cookies and candy are often included. Just having a place like this is so rewarding for volunteers who love our service men and women and want to help them in some way.

Irene S

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What a wonderful group Operation Gratitude is! These people give their time and effort to send thousands of care packages to the men and women of our armed services serving overseas, our wounded warriors as well as the families at home . It is a honor to work with these dedicated, wonderful people. I have been moved to tears more than once when approached by an Operation Gratitude package recipient. Their gratitude and stories are always a moving experience.

I especially appreciate fact that people all over the country (even the world) can participate in sending the packages. Hand made items are included in every box and I know first hand these items come from all 50 states and beyond.

Here's to the March to a Million and BEYOND.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I 've been a volunteer at Operation Gratitude since it's first assemly day in the National Guard Armory. As a veteran, I am accutely aware of how important it is for the morale for our troops to know how much they are appreciated and supported. As a traveling representative for Operation gratitude I have come in contact with many all over the country who have been the recipients of our care Packages. Their response has been all one would need to want to up the ante and outdo what we have been able to do thus far. One of the best things about my experience with Op Grat is the kind of people I get to meet and work with; rich and famous, ordinary Joes and Janes, salt of the earth, giving and loving people of all ages who come together in a common patriotic effort. It has been one of the most satisfying and enriching experiences of my life.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been on the receiving end of one of the great care packages from Operation Gratitude!! As a service member bieng thousands of miles from home it is really hard and to receive a care package from a COMPLETE STRANGER saying "thanks" means so much! There are times when we missing our family, the life we had back home and the stress of duty takes it toll on us - and as I opened the box I thought of thepeople back home who made this care package, the appreciation that they have for the sacrifices we make and it sure put a smile on my face! The items in the care package gave us all fond memories of home - the girl scout cookies - we shared stories of when we used to sell them when we were younger! And the heartfelt written letters gave us all a few tears and made us proud to be Americans! Everyone was talking about the care packages and they really lifted morale for us!! We hung up the cards and letters that were inside the box so that everyone could read them and shared the items in the boxes - these care packages were the BEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering for Operation Gratitude in the fall of 2010. I have watched the organization grow over the past two plus years and am amazed at the dedication of this organization and its highly supportive volunteer base. With a simple cause, Operation Gratitude makes it easy to say thank you to our military currently serving as well as retired and former military personnel. I plan to continue to volunteer for this organization in the future.

llittle111

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with Operation Gratitude since 2004. The organization is phenomenal in providing many avenues for American nationwide to express their thanks to the troops who put themselves in harms way in order to protect our freedom. Not only are the deployed troops supported so that they have no doubt they are NOT forgotten, but also Veterans, Wounded Warriors, Military Families, Children left behind (they serve too), First Responders and Care Givers.

Nothing is beyond Operation Gratitude's reach -- countless pallets of much needed items were collected and shipped immediately to aid victims of Super Storm Sandy right here at home on the east coast. People are touched near and far by this wonderful group and its FABULOUS team of volunteers of all ages, from all walks of life and all geographic areas.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization makes a difference in the lives of our troops. It is VERY important to let them know that they are NOT forgotten. These care packages send many goodies but most importantly CARING and LOVE !!!!
I wanted to let them know someone is thinking about them - this organization does it.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

2 Linda184

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

1 RW Bender

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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 .

1 Camera G.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

1 Chris111

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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