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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Operation Not Alone

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Military & Veterans Organizations, Veterans

Mission: On average 22 veterans per day commit suicide, which equates to more deaths by suicide than by actual deployment. By having Operation Not Alone to fuel their hope, helping them assimilate back to civilian life, and providing access to a network of resources, we can reduce the suicide rate and help to foster an overall stronger United States. We accomplish this goal through three main initiatives.

Results: First, is our Care Package program which ships large, personalized Care Packages to active duty service members. We make large fleece blankets specific to their branch of the military, include healthy non-perishable food items, hygiene products and talk with them and their family members to put in the treasured foods they miss the most from home. To date, we have sent out over 150 Care Packages. Additionally, we want to ensure that our veterans are constantly feeling appreciation and fostering the sense that they are never alone and never forgotten for the sacrifices that they had to make. We developed an annual Cheer Package program that sends our exclusive “Hero’s Blend” and “Veteran’s Blend” gourmet coffees and a letter of appreciation to veterans across the country every Veterans Day. As our largest program, we have sent over 650 Cheer Packages across 33 states. We also visit veteran nursing homes during the holiday season to deliver embroidered military fleece blankets as we recognized that the holidays are a particularly difficult time for their mental and emotional health. As our youngest program, we have hand delivered 60 nursing home blankets. The third initiative, addresses the community with a presentation called, “Who Is Your Hero?” It can be tailored to any group, ranging from elementary school students, to professional workplaces. We discuss the sacrifices our military members give everyday and why it is important to give thanks to these brave men and women in uniform. This initiative also educates groups on PTSD and other side effects from war, and ends with a hands-on service project to be added to an ONA Care Package.

Target demographics: Active Duty Military and Veterans

Geographic areas served: Based in Wisconsin

Programs: Care Packages - Cheer Packages - "Who Is Your Hero?" Program

Community Stories

21 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter just received her care package from ONA and she sent me a picture of the tie blanket that was included. She’s practically in tears, she loves it so much! She just found out that her deployment is being extended through December and won’t be home for her birthday or the holidays, so this could not have come at a better time! Thank you for all that you do. – Army Mom

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Thank you so much for the blankets. They turned out great and were gobbled up very quickly. We had a few jealous sailors here also. They are very comfortable. I even look forward to using mine back home. I attached pictures of everyone who got a blanket. There are 11 total people in the pictures, myself included. Thanks again…it means a lot to have a little touch of home way out here. – Hank, Navy

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is a little late but I wanted to make sure that you know that all you volunteers are doing a great job. The support is outstanding. Each box helps on average 8-10 service members. Just knowing people back home care means the world to us all. Not everyone who sends packages gives an email address so I hope you pass on our gratitude. Thank you so much!! – Jim, Army

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am currently overseas and I received a package this week from you and it a “No Sew” Knot Blanket with Navy decorations in it and I must say it’s awesome! There are a few other sailors here that are jealous of it so I thought I would see if it were possible to request a few more. A little touch of home goes a long way out here. Thank you for the package and for all your support! – Richard, Navy

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

“My heart is so happy after receiving this care package from #OperationNotAlone – straight from Oshkosh, Wisconsin! Our friends and families at home really underestimate the power of the letters and packages we receive – I’ve never felt so loved and supported in my life! THANK YOU Susan Fochs, Director and President of Operation Not Alone, as well as Miss Oshkosh 2015 MeKenzie Lund for giving Susan my name! You ladies are truly angels! The blanket is one of the most meaningful gift I’ve received since being in country…I just love that it was hand made by someone and that it has my name on it! ” – Hallie G.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The work that ONA does is so important. Their services help ensure that active duty service members and veterans will never feel alone and will never feel forgotten! Keep it up!

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Amazing organization! Very impressed with all their hard work and dedication to their cause!

3 Hannah O.

Client Served

Rating: 5

ONA is an incredible organization that advocates for the needs of veterans and service members all over the country. The work they do truly impacts the lives of those who have dedicated service to keeping this country safe and free! I have received an Army fleece tie blanket from ONA and it is clear that it was made with so much love- I am forever grateful for it. Investing in ONA will help change peoples lives for the better! I give this non-profit 5 stars!

3 Elle M.1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This team makes connecting with active service members and veterans an easy task! They truly go above and beyond to make our service members feel appreciated and make it easy to give back.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering with ONA has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life! Being able to see the real impact on our service members and veterans is awe-inspiring!

3 Megan L.4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with ONA and experiences have been great. Susan has tremendous passion and does a wonderful job talking to a group. Love supporting this non-profit and our military men and women.

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

In a world full of pop hero’s, fantasy hero’s and sports hero’s, we should never forget to look to the real hero’s: for real courage, real strength and real stories.

To say I’m inspired by the founder of Operation Not Alone is an understatement. Susan (the founder) is extremely driven and goes above and beyond in everything she does. Even with her schedule being so, so busy—she makes time to give back—to show appreciation and gratitude to our soldiers and veterans. Susan juggles a dozen things at once and still gives 110% to her non-profit. ONA is an amazing organization that is truly run on passion and determination, but also with gratitude and appreciation for all our military men and women! Thank you Susan for being such an inspiring and admirable advocate for such an important aspect in our country!

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As a veteran that received a cheer package form this organization, I was moved and brought to tears to know that someone out there remembered that I served this great country. To say that it has been a struggle for over 50 years is an understatement. I am proud of my service and I am grateful that I was "not forgotten" Thank you Operation Not Alone. Hope to hear from you again this year.

5 Megan L.3

Donor

Rating: 5

ONA has helped so many veterans feel important and not forgotten. The smiles and happiness this organization has brought so many verterans of all ages is amazing.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was moved by Operation Not Alone mission, and as the wife of a veteran I wanted to give back to the men and women that have taken an oath to serve and protect us. I wanted to find a group that was honest and dedicated and truly helping. After meeting the young woman that started this Non-Profit I knew i found my forever home in volunteering. This group works tirelessly in supporting these brave men and women. The thoughtful individualized care that goes into each care package is unparalleled. But the one that always moves me beyond words is the simple token of appreciation that is the veterans cheer package send out to Veterans for Veterans Day. There is so much more that this group does and I am so happy I found them.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with ONA on a few occasions, and during each experience, it has been apparent the level of passion that Susan Fochs, the founder of ONA, has for the task of helping veterans. She puts in a great deal of time and energy to do her best to ensure that the veterans who receive care packages and blankets from the organization feel appreciated. Volunteering with ONA has been a great experience!

5 Jessica H.4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Operation Not Alone has made a significant impact in communities, not only in Wisconsin, but around the world. The ONA team is incredibly dedicated to their mission, making them a great organization to work with. ONA always has and will continue to be one of my favorite organizations to support because of the team and the work that they do for veterans around the world.

5 Michelle.Bartzen

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Operation Not Alone is one of the best non-profits I can think of. Volunteering for ONA has not only been some of the most fun volunteer work I’ve done, but some of the most rewarding. In addition, ONA is run by Susan Fochs, a woman who’s heart is made of gold and radiates sunshine.

5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is such an amazing organization that helps veterans! I’m very impressed by all of the hard work that is poured into their mission!

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Operation Not Alone (ONA) has been one of the best non-profit organizations with which I have volunteered. With a mission my family and I can firmly stand behind, I'm proud to work so closely with the organization. Led by a tenacious and compassionate leader, I am positive that Operation Not Alone will continue to succeed and expand its horizons. Being a part of the ONA family is a blessing beyond measure!

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization is home grown by one of the most dedicated, pure, loving, hardworking, and downright incredible people I know. Susan Fochs built this nonprofit from the ground up with the help of family and friend who sincerely want to make a difference in the lives of those who sacrifice themselves for our country. By far, the BEST nonprofit I’ve ever had the pleasure of giving my time to!!!