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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

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

25 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Monica Orluk for president 2020. She has what it takes to make America great again.

Kacey L.

Client Served

Rating: 5

They are an amazing non profit! On multiple occasions they have offered support to my family as well as my husband, the soldier. It varied from care packages to meet and greet dinners and baseball games! They supported our entire unit during their tour in support of Operation enduring freedom, sending care packages of all needed items. They have even expanded to helping soldiers and their families after deployments. I was even blessed to help volunteer at events for collection of donations and getting signatures for cards for care packages and much more!

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As an army wife, During my husbands first deployment, I had the honor to volunteer and help make and send care packages. So much work, thought, and dedication goes into what some people think is just a box but Is really a morale booster. What most people take for granted OTA knows that the soldiers need those items. My husband received care packages while he was over in Afghanistan and they really helped him. From necessities to things that can help pass time. Both him and I were very appreciative to have been blessed with OTA. What the people at OTA do is amazing and I am so happy I was able to help with the cause.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

OTA is a wonderful organization that goes above and beyond to assist our troops by lifting their spirits and making everyday life a little bit easier. They do not seek profit lines like other troop programs, which shows OTA's heart and soul dedication to the core.

OTA assisted my brother and his team multiple times while overseas and my brother mentioned on several occasions how great it was to get the packages with the simplest common household items. Since my brother was the main point of contact with OTA, he became very popular among the other squads and word about OTA spread quickly.

I highly recommend this organization in everything they do and stand for! Please consider supporting them!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I've volunteered with and experienced the generosity of Operation Troop Appreciation during events and as a deployed soldier. You will not find a more dedicated staff especially since they are all volunteer. Their officers work full time jobs plus the additional hours to staff OTA. They are truly the best!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We have received so many love and care from OTA . Our unit is so lucky to have the support and love because it make us remember that we are not alone and amazing people care about us. I been deployed in Afghanistan one year and since then I arrived I have receive the amazing support making my life better and feeling appreciated for my work, supporting our mission and for all the time I have give up in my life for being here.

Thank you so much for all your love and for taking care of me and all my unit.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I second that motion - OTA is certainly Pittsburgh's top rated Non profit. Our organization, Daughters of the American Revolution, are always looking for ways to help them in their efforts to help especially the homeless female veterans, but all veterans also. They are a place where veterans can ALWAYS turn to for help with nothing asked for in return. Their leaders have huge hearts for those in need and are tireless workers to serve our
military. God Bless the OTA AND ESPECIALLY THEIR LEADERS!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 2

Socks for troops? Really? Seems like a relatively minor issue to be funding with nonprofit funds. Nice socks are great, but these people are actually paid.

Comments ( 1 )

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Monica O. 05/28/2014

To J-Peterson - I am not sure what interaction you had with Operation Troop Appreciation this year, and take full responsibility if your experience lead you to the wrong conclusion about what we do as a non-profit. Since July, 2004, we have provided over 136,000 deployed military members with "wish-list" items. These are items SPECIFICALLY REQUESTED by our troops because there is no military exchange store, or they are on a remote combat outpost, in the harshest of conditions and have no other way to obtain these items. Sometimes we get requests for socks and when we do, you bet we send the best quality socks we can get. We also provide veterans in poverty with beds and essential household goods or troops with extra protective eye wear. We send solar showers to troops on combat ouposts with no bathing facilities. And much, much, much, much more. And we do it with a 100% VOLUNTEER staff - no one gets paid at OTA - ever. So 98 cents of every donated dollar goes directly to fund troop and veteran support projects. I am saddened that you chose to give us our only negative rating, and hope that with a better understanding of who we are and what we do, you'll feel compelled to change your mind. Please feel free to contact me directly if you have questions or want more information. Monica Orluk, Volunteer President & COO of Operation Troop Appreciation.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Thank you very much for your generous contribution! I had no idea you were sending so much. We even kept one box for one of our tenant units that is geographically separated from us so they were very grateful as well. On behalf of our entire chapel staff, thank you for what you do!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Operation Troop Appreciation is a great organization!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Grass root effort to support our Men and women serving overseas. Thank you for bring our American Spirit Together to Support our Freedom Fighters!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This organization goes above and beyond to provide necessities for our troops overseas! I have been donating items to OTA for over 5 years to help bring smiles to soldiers' faces. When thank you notes and pictures from the soldiers are posted on OTA's Facebook page, it lets all of us know that what is being done is a great morale booster for them. OTA is a wonderful organization!

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been donating to OTA for several years. They are a great organization with little overhead due to all of their volunteers. They work hard to get necessary items to our troops who are grateful for the support. They make sure that we see all the thank you notes from the troops. I would highly recommend this organization!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I've been hearing more and more about the wonderful things that this organization does for our troops and after reading about their amazing help and support efforts, and how well it is organized and executed, I definately want to get involved in the future and raise awareness of this great nonprofit!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

When your gift arrived the group deployed to Haiti were stunned. You should have seen their faces! The care packages were a welcome surprise! How can we ever thank you for thinking of us in such a personal and thoughtful way? We will never forget your very kind and meaningful gift.

We are currently deployed to Haiti serving as United Nation Peace Keepers. We have members from each branch of service in our team (Air Force, Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard). Thank you for caring so much. It is dedicated organizations like Operation Troop Appreciation that help us to make a difference and bring a smile to lots of faces.

Please continue to sponsor and donate to this organization, they are the true heroes.

dhollo

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

OTA was organized with the Troops in mind. The approach to volunteerism is beyond compare. Our country, our troops and the donors and volunteers are all very enthused and the results are heartwarming and unforgetable.

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have been aware of and donor to Operation Troop Appreciation since its inception. No other organization works as hard or has the success rate as does OTA, from a voulunteer standpoint. More than 98% of its donations find its way to our troops. Hopefully our wars will come to an end soon, but until they do, OTA is there to support our troops in many ways.

Review from Guidestar

Kevin34

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Say 'YES' to this organization! OTA far exceeds the expectation of supporting our troops in need. I was personally involved via my brother who served two tours in Iraq. OTA was quick to respond and eager to put a smile on not just my brother's face... but his entire group! OTA has great communication and really lets you know they care deeply about each and every person.

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

Matthew16

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Operation Troop Appreciation is a an organization whose goal is to make the lives of America's service men and women a bit more bearable while deployed. They organize events in the local Pittsburgh area which meet two objectives, to make sure the community keeps service members in the fronts of their minds and to raise money to provide goods for the troops. These successful and fun events, along with the strong business alliances they have made, allows OTA to maximize their ability to provide for America's fighting men and women. Despite their strong ties to the Pittsburgh community, OTA provides for service members from all over the Nation. Visit their website and read the testimonials from those they have helped. OTA is bright and shinning example of the American spirit. They are to be honored.

Lori37

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Volunteers are amazing !!! They are the heart and soul of this organization. Thank you OTA !!!

Cheryl39

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

When it comes to supporting our Troops whom but their lives on the line each and every day,,,well this is where OTA comes in. This organization has done wonderful things for our Military,whom are far away from home. They send them care packages and our Military really appreciates your dedication to them. Keep up the good work because you guys make a BIG difference to our Troops! Putting numerous smiles on their faces and knowing that they have tons of people back home that care and pray for their save return. The good Lord blessed me 2 times in the past 3 years getting my Son back safe after 2 separate 12 month tours. Keep up the good work OTA~!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have had the great opportunity to work with Operation Troop Appreciation for the last 3 years. Kristen and Monica are wonderfully nice people. I commend them both on their dedication to this program. For two of the three years, I would take collections from my church and/or my mother's AARP to the Armory. My kids would accompany me. For them (and me) the experience was wonderful. There were military personnel who would explain the different vehicles and what their functions are. Kristen and Monica and other volunteers would help unload the items and explain where it would be sent. On two occasions I requsted a speaker come to an assembly to speak and both times OTA came through. Those involved with OTA are very dedicated not only to the program, but the military it supports and the United States of America. They are truly blessed.

Review from Guidestar