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Operation Shoebox

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Gift Distribution, Human Services

Mission: Support active u. S. Military troops. The organization receives donations of personal hygiene items and other goods that are packaged and shipped to soldiers stationed in and around combat areas. The organization also ships clothing and other items to wounded soldiers which are more suitable to wear as they undergo treatment and rehabilitation. Toys and other items are sent for distribution by troops to local children.

Programs: Shipping costs and supplies to ship containers of personal hygiene and other items to active u. S. Military personnel stationed in or around combat areas. This also includes warehouse space used to store and assemble goods prior to shipping, office space for administration, and a thrift store to accept donated items for resale.

purchase of goods to supplement donated items that are packaged and sent to military personnel.

Community Stories

45 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My story starts with my Father fighting overseas for the US Marine Corp (circa 1952). My Mom would go to Thom McCann Shoe Store near the base and ask for mens shoe boxes ( bigger than a size 9). We would go home and write notes and color pictures and then package socks, pepperoni and crackers, tea bags and cookies for my Dad.

I guess that was the start of Operation Shoebox for me. The return letters from my Dad were wonderful - he loved getting the shoebox filled with love from home. My experience with Operation Shoebox here in the Villages is a feeling of doing my part for the service men that are away from their family. The simple act of helping is so rewarding - you can see it on everyones face. When we say the Pledge of a Allegiance to the Flag - sometimes there are a few misty eyes in the Sewing Room - remembering our love ones that did their part of the USA. OSB has a feeling of real community for me.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Operation Shoebox in The Villages Florida has so many dedicated and helpful people. It is a joy to volunteer there. I am in the sewing room where the ditty bags are cut and sewn - ready for stuffing. Hundreds of volunteers giving hours of their time hoping to provide something that will help make a service members life a little brighter. The bags are not large, and the items are not many, but every volunteer takes pride in their task and the time they can give to say thanks to someone fighting for our country overseas. There are always items needed, there is always room for another volunteer.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Operation Shoebox is doing a fantastic job of tending to the wants & needs of our military personnel. What they do, what they send to the troops is reinforcement of Americas honor, respect, care, thanks and hopes for the troops. Shoebox provides a "little slice of home" in a bag. As a Viet Nam vet recipient of this type of care package, I can say that anything from home is a welcome and needed mental break. Shoebox does that & gives this to the troops. EVERYONE involved in Shoeboxs should get maximum kudos for their volunteer time & caring for the troops.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I continue to be amazed by the dedication and generosity of the volunteers who work each week to support our deployed men and women in the armed forces through the creation and distribution of ditty bags and Christmas stockings. Many of our volunteers are veterans or spouses of veterans who remember what it was like to be in harms way in a foreign country. A little bit of home is what we send to them, including some candy, crackers and cookies, Ramen noodles, oatmeal, personal hygiene items, playing cards, and most importantly, a hand written letter from one of our volunteers. Over 400 volunteers meet each Monday here in the Villages to work at this labor of love. I am proud and honored to be a Shoeboxer!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering with Operation Shoebox about 2 yrs ago. Their back story is unbelievable, how from humble beginnings big things happen. We send packages to deployed military around the world. When the service men & women come to visit during Christmas holiday to say Thank You there is not a dry eye in the place. We are all volunteers. We rely on volunteers & donations to create, purchase & mail our pkgs, without monitory donations we cannot mail these pkgs. We must pay for postage which adds up to thousands during the year. We have BINGO nights, Sock Hops, Concerts and other square events to raise but it isn’t always enough. We certainly could use your assistance in getting the word out for our organization. Our men, women & their families put a lot in the line for us. This is the least we can do for them.
Thank you
Linda Kane
Shoeboxer
The Villages, FL

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The very first time I heard about Operation Shoebox was when, one of our Zumba members talked about this great organization that focused on support of troops, while they were deployed. She mentioned that they don't actually fill a shoebox, but a ditty bag full of things that soldiers may not access to, in the location where they are serving. I am a volunteer that serves in the sewing room . We make the bags , in addition to holiday stockings that hold all the necessities they need, as well as inspiring notes to let them know we care about, we appreciate their service.
I am proud of the work that we do and so honored to work along side of the group of women who volunteer with me in the sewing room.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Love what they do for our men and women stationed abroad. They are excited to know someone cares for them and are thinking of them. The small items sent are truly appreciated. It is a great group of volunteers working together getting the job done.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Let me begin by saying I have had many years of experience directing funding to worthy nonProfits and their projects as a corporate Philanthropy Manager. I retired and moved to The Villages, FL about 5 years ago. I heard about Operation Shoebox and was blown away by the number of volunteers (400+) that meet each week to pack “goodie bags” for the troops. During that time I began to run my team of volunteers that make Paracord survival bracelets that are part of the items that are packed weekly. This operation is a well-oiled machine that operates via the generosity of time and money from residents of The Villages. It is something to behold!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I work at Operation Shoebox helping the "outside crew" load and unload supplies and donated items. In my time there, I have seen nothing but wonderful, caring people who give of themselves to help the troops. All give what they can, be it of themselves, with donations or helping out in the Shoebox operations with no concern over personal recognition. The same goes for the "non-Shoeboxers" and Villagers who keep us supplied with donations that fund the packages for the troops. As a recipient of a Viet Nam "care package", I can say that any and all aid, information, news or supplies from home are very welcome and appreciated.
What needs to be said is the endless thanks we all owe to the troops who make it necessary to provide the much needed, much wanted and much appreciated services that Operation Shoebox provides for them.
it is an honor to help with this group. They have great people working there who also provide camaradie and help to the other workers. KUDOS to all members!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer at Operation Shoebox and to get the letters and visits from some of the Troops we have sent packages too is so heart warming. It is sad when we get a letter from a family Thanking us for sending their family member something but to let us know they did not make it home. But how much they appreciated what we sent them and how they told their families about us. It makes our volunteer work so much more rewarding.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This charity supports the troops serving across the world .the men & woman who serve love this support. We as Americans need to remember them.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love how they support our troops and not let them feel forgotten. Great organization

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Operation Shoebox volunteers have one goal in mind - to put a smile on as many faces as possible. Our soldiers are far from home in dangerous situations so that we can live free and enjoy life. This nonprofit is all about the troops and how we can serve them. Mary Harper, founder and leader, is an angel who puts in six and many times seven days a week. Her dedication to the troops is an inspiration to all who know her, and there are over 500 volunteers who each do their part to pack ditty bags or Christmas stockings filled with goodies and love. Operation Shoebox is truly an exceptional nonprofit. Linda Bowman

Previous Stories
6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I continue to be amazed at the dedication and compassion of Mary Harper, the founder, and countless others who strive to make our troops feel appreciated.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hello My name is SGT Natalie Cummings with F.CO 2-87INF 3BCT 10th MTN DIV, deployed currently in Afghanistan we have received numerous care packages from operation shoe box for soldier's and we greatly appreciate everything that you all do for us. and not to mention we love all of the goodies as soon as I get the packages i pass them out to my entire company and they love it.

Thank you,
SGT Cummings

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband and I heard about Operation Shoe Box six yrs ago when we moved to the Villages. We felt that this was something we wanted to volunteer for. My huband is an AirForce veteran, our daughter retired after 20yrs in the Air Force and now works @ the VA in Gainesville. Our son spent 17 yrs in the Coast Guard. With all the sevice connection in the family we felt this was something close to our hearts. It has been very heart warming to donate our time early Monday. I is very gratifying to hear from the men & women who receive our pkgs (Operation Shoe Box) stating what it means to them to recieve a touch of home treats as well as notes from the folks who take the time to write and thank them for the job that they are doing. To say the truth we look forward to our time spent @ Operation Shoe Box each wk. Ann Marie & Nick Caron

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

From the moment I saw with my own eyes the dedicated people that WANT to participate and show up religiously whenever they can to help get or create needed items to our troops who are trying to make the World a better place, my heart was won. Operation Shoebox is a massive effort and fundraising of many to do what we can to send some necessities - and comfort - to our troops and to let them know they're thought about so much home here in the USA.

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband and I are proud to be a part of this organization thaat does so much for our "heros"

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Operation Shoebox is the most dedicated group of people I have ever had the pleasure of working with. Their tireless dedication to the cause of improving the comfort and morale of every serviceman and woman that is serving in harms way cannot be understated.

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I moved to this community over 5 years ago and heard a volunteer speak about Operation Shoebox...from that moment on I knew that I wanted to help our troops through this selfless group. I'm the Inventory Manager, which means that Mary (our President) and myself make sure that there are always 9 to 10 items at our meeting place every week ready to be packed for our troops. I also coordinate and receive mailings that are contributed and mailed from all over the country. It is an honor and a priviledge to volunteer with this incredible group of people that want to let our troops know that they will "never be forgotten". We pack each bag that is sent with a piece of our heart!

Previous Stories
5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I moved to this community over 5 years ago and heard a volunteer speak about Operation Shoebox...from that moment on I knew that I wanted to help our troops through this selfless group. I'm the Inventory Manager, which means that Mary (our President) and myself make sure that there are always 9 to 10 items at our meeting place every week ready to be packed for our troops. I also coordinate and receive mailings that are contributed and mailed from all over the country. It is an honor and a priviledge to volunteer with this incredible group of people that want to let our troops know that they will "never be forgotten". We pack each bag that is sent with a piece of our heart!

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My famiuly has been involved with Operation Shoebox for several years now. Our organization makes ditty bags and Christmas stockings to send to our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. More than that we correspond with the troops, keep them in our prayers, and promote patriotism. Alot of our time is devoted to fundraising for the postage costs (which are not subsidized by the government) and for the items that go in our bags. It is truly a worthwhile organization.