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Operation Troop Appreciation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Military & Veterans Organizations, Veterans

Mission: To build and sustain the morale and well being of the military community, past and present, with the assurance that the American public supports and appreciates their selfless service and daily sacrifices.

Results: Since July of 2004, OTA has provided support to over 163,000 members of the military and veteran community and have done so with a 100% volunteer staff, ensuring that 95 cents of every dollar is used to fund troop and veteran support projects.

Target demographics: military members and veterans

Direct beneficiaries per year: 20,000 members of the military and veteran communities

Geographic areas served: Pittsburgh, PA

Programs: Sponsor A Unit Collection Drive Welcome Home Kits

Community Stories

50 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer for Operation Troop Appreciation, I have the opportunity to see what happens behind the scenes and what I have found is an organization that has so many people dedicated to its cause. When I learned that all of the staff members are volunteers and 98 cents of every dollar goes directly to providing "wish list" items to the deployed troops, I knew that everyone involved was doing this because they really wanted "to build and sustain the morale of deployed troops, enabling them to complete their missions with the assurance that the American public supports and appreciates their selfless service and daily sacrifices" as our mission statement declares. From the letters that I have read and the personal accounts from family members who come to events and headquarters, I know what OTA does is truly making a difference. I have never been more honored to be a part of an organization.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I got involved with OTA through friends at my American Legion Post 760, to help with a packing party. It was very meaningful to me that in this small way I was reaching out to the other side of the world, to make someones day a little brighter. After the packing I was hooked, and knew I had to do more. I have yet to meet Kristen, although I'm well acquainted with Amanda, if everyone in the organization has the zeal of Amanda, it is a worthy cause. These men and women are giving up their family time for us in a strange land, the least we can do is offer a few hours for them.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have been involved with and have known of this charity since its inception in 2004. Not once have I seen the enthusiasm and commitment of its officers, board and volunteers waiver. It's obvious all those connected with OTA have a deep appreciation for and support of our men and women in the military service. How many charities do we come across where never once does a dollar go into anyone's personal pocket for their efforts, but in fact goes directly to the cause the charity promotes? The respect and love shown for our military by those associated with OTA is contagious, spilling over profusely to anyone who comes in contact with them as they continue on their "mission" to show support for our troops, wherever they are. No request to OTA is too small, too insignificant or too much trouble. It's a testament to their dedication that even the seemingly most difficult request is fulfilled, sometimes by others who see OTA's determination and who help to open doors to make "wish lists" reality. This is a true grass roots organization who has had a great impact on the morale of over 100,000 troops since 2004. OTA is truly worthy of note and gets my 5-star vote without hesitation! I have been and will continue to make periodic contributions to further their fine work.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with OTA since its inception in July of 2004. Although I live a distance from Pittsburgh, I visit a few times a year and have been involved in fundraising and packing items to send to our troops. I have seen the dedication of the volunteers and the efficiency with which they operate. At my place of business, I have OTA materials on display and have seen firsthand how requests generated from my office have been filled by OTA and I have personally received feedback from those on the receiving end. The inspiration for the creation of OTA is a story in itself, and the impact it has had on our servicemen and women is beyond measure.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We have a son in the Marines who was recently deployed in Afghanistan. We have heard, first hand, of the extreme hardships and need of our troops. I am proud to be a volunteer, helping our troops with whatever wishes they need fulfilled. It truly is a labor of love.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have always respected our troops since I was a kid. My mother had us pray for them every night. When I had the chance to volunteer for OTA I was so happy I could give back something to them for their sacrifices, loyalty and commitment. I have listened to so many stories of courage , pain and blessings from them as they tour our facility. I am proud to be a volunteer for the greatest and most selfless military men and women in the world. I appreciate each and everyone of them. Carol

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer for OTA for a few years and can tell you that anyone who hears about our service is imprssed by all of the effort and love transmitted from an all volunteer organization.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Have volunteered or raised money on a number of occasions for OTA since 2010. The leaders of the group are some of the most selfless people in Pittsburgh I've ever met and they run this group not for personal gain, but because they have a belief deep down inside that what they are doing is the right thing. If more Americans took notice of organizations like OTA and gave their time to make the lives of others more comfortable, the US would be much better off.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have just started volunteering with this organization recently and I can't say enough good things about it. While the government supplies the military with essential, needed items, deployments can still get very boring, lonely, or depressing without things that would be easily obtainable at home (one really cool thing OTA sent were blank Valentine cards for the troops to send home to their spouses/significant others; this was a great idea and made missing Valentine's Day a little more bearable for those who are separated from loved ones.)

The other great thing about the organization is that they use the money that is donated so efficiently. Ninety-eight cents of every dollar goes towards buying items for the troops or for shipping costs, which I think is fantastic.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My son and I volunteer for OTA for about 4 years now. I started to volunteer because I wanted to show my son what a small act like packing a box full of ordinary items can make a difference in someone life. Also, that taking time out of our lives is more valuable than just writing a check. OTA just not help the troops that are deployed they change lives within their volunteers. Because of OTA I have been able to meet some wonderful people that I would not have before and be able to try things that I never thought possible. OTA has not only have helped 100,000 troops they help me feel like my son and I can make a difference.

Colleen W.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband is about to go on his 4th deployment. OTA has been there not only for my husband but numerous men and women of our Armed Forces! Being an Army Wife they have let me volunteer my time to help these BRAVE forces. OTA sacrifices their time and hearts just to give our soldiers a little piece of home. Being a volunteer you realize how much effort goes into just one package. This is what it's all about! I have seen first hand on how much one care package goes a long way in keeping morale up and putting a smile on a soldier's face in such a gloomy place. From an Army wife...thank you OTA not only for doing this but giving me the pleasure to help the cause!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer for OTA for 5 years now in the capacity of collecting donations for "wish list items" and signatures for holiday cards and thank you cards for our troops at various functions in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I have also donated DVD's, blankets, and toiletries to be packaged and sent to the troops. It has been such an inspiration talking to families that have someone overseas in the service, or have been there themselves and have received packages from OTA. They are so appreciative and can't thank you enough. The letters OTA has received from thankful recipients is overwhelming. Just to think how OTA has grown is remarkable in itself. I am so blessed to be a part of this wonderful organization.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I spent a saturday last fall, helping OTA of Pittsburg fill probably close to 2 tons of Christmas "Care Packages" to be sent to our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The spirit and comraderie of the team and volunteers(myself) was congenial and uplifting. How could it not be? Such a worthwhile and noble effort to honor our troops in war zones-away from their families, friends and the country they so proudly serve, was inspiring.
I will gladly give of my time, energy and resources to help in any way possible, to promote OTA and its mission in the future.


Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband and I have had the opportunity to work with the devoted OTA in collecting signatures for Holiday cards and packing for individual "Wish Lists" for the troops. OTA works continuouly to provide for the troops, not just once a year at the Holidays. OTA is continually looking at various ways to raise funds to provide for the troops that sacrifice so much to keep us free. An honor to work with OTA!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The company that I work for discovered OTA as a great way for us to be able to support our troops overseas. They locate a troop for us that needs items from home, and we gather those items and send them overseas. OTA provides guidance on most requested items, what we can and cannot ship, thank you notes from the troops and pictures of the troops receiving our packages. It is a win-win situation for both the troops and the associates at my office. OTA provides us with a way to show our appreciation for those who are defending our freedom and putting their lives on the line every day. OTA truly makes this a heartwarming experience for us and the troops.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with OTA for a few years now. It is a wonderful feeling knowing you are sending a little piece of home to the Soldiers who so bravely give so much for all of us back home. Not only does OTA send personal items, OTA also sends cards to the soldiers. Collecting the signatures, wishes and blessings from so many people here at home to send to the Soldiers Marines and Saliors to hopefully brighten their day. Reading the letters of thankfulness from all the service men and women and happiness that OTA has been able to share. The hard work and dedication that Kristen and Monica have to this organization is because of their dedication to the troops serving so far away,,, This is truly a special Organization to be a part of.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My family and I have been long time volunteers for OTA. It is not only rewarding for the troops but for ourselves too. OTA is a wonderful organization to be a part of. OTA fulfills wishes to our deployed troops. Just reading the thank you letters and seeing the pictures of all the grateful soldiers warms your heart. Since volunteeing with OTA I have made new friends who have joined our packing parties or donation drives. It is truly a non profit organization because not one person gets paid. We are all there for the same reason to provide moral support and bring a little of home to all those overseas.

Review from Guidestar

Erica N.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with OTA on many occasions, and I cannot think of more dedicated individuals. It was and is an honor for me anytime that I can work with them.
It makes me both proud and humble to be a part of serving those who serve for us. Our brave men and women fighting overseas give so much for each of us. They make it possible for us to enjoy and even take for granted the small creature comforts they we have. I think it's wonderful that OTA tries to bring some of those very same items to our deployed service members! It is but one small way for us to say "thank-you" and give to those who give it all.
All one has to do is visit their site to see the letters and photos of our troops to see what a fabulous job this organization pulls off!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have helped as a volunteer on a few occasions and cannot be more proud to associate with this organization. Brave men and women give so much to this country, and with just a little effort we can show them how much we appreciate the sacrifices that they make. This organiation allows us the opportunity to do just that!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

To watch the work and personal effort of the few that started this organization, to the many that are now involved is truly amazing. Along the way names and faces continue to be so important to the organizers. I can't believe that they know who I am! It makes me proud to support this group because it is a hands on "operatiom" and the work that they do is so important to our troops.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered for 5 years with OTA. The board and its volunteers have worked tirelessly to raise money and grant wishes to as many troops as possible. My nephew and his troop were recipients of OTA's kind and generous donations of Under Armor, sports equipment and various other wish list items. These brave men and women need our love and support every day. As long as we have troops overseas, OTA will do all it can to ease the discomfort of as many men and women as possible.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I know first hand how much this organization does for our troops as they have sent care packages to the WV 201st FA during thier first deployment in Iraq. My husband is a member of the 201st and they are now deployed in Kuwait. Once again OTA will show their love and support with more care packages. Thank you OTA for all you do for all of our military!
Rose Mary B

Review from Guidestar