Partnering with Heroes to Support Heroes

 We are excited to announce a strategic new partnership with veteran-focused disaster relief organization Team Rubicon to send “First Responder Kits” to volunteers assisting with natural disaster and crisis relief efforts world-wide.

The “First Responder Kits” (FR Kits) will be assembled at our headquarters in Van Nuys, CA and shipped to every Team Rubicon volunteer across the country.  Each FR Kit will contain an assortment of useful, donated items placed in an Operation Gratitude drawstring backpack for easy transport at a moment’s notice.

Most of the Team Rubicon volunteers are recent U.S. Military veterans. We sent care packages and supported these heroic service members while they were deployed overseas in combat zones,” says Operation Gratitude founder, Carolyn Blashek. “Now that they are serving our country and the world by assisting with natural disasters and humanitarian relief, we will continue to express our deep appreciation and respect to them through our First Responder Kits.”

Team Rubicon co-founder William McNulty agrees that the partnership between the two organizations makes perfect sense: “Team Rubicon engages U.S. military veterans, many returning home after fighting ten years of war, and offers a renewed sense of purpose for their skills and experiences,” he said.  “The FR Kits will provide our volunteers with essential gear as well as morale-boosting encouragement from fellow Americans who are grateful for their continued service.” (Watch the recent CNN story about Team Rubicon and its co-founder Jake Wood on YouTube here:  CNN Hero: Jake Wood.)

As with our other programs, we will rely on the generosity of the American people — individuals and corporate sponsors — to supply, assemble and ship the initial 5,000 FR Kits by the end of June, 2012.  

We are seeking both product donations to fill the FR Kits as well as financial donations to pay our assembly and shipping costs of $75,000. 

So — by now you may be wondering: How can I help? We are so glad you asked!

The following is our “Wish List” for items we need for the FR Kits: AA and AAA batteries; quick-drying, medium-sized towels; energy bars; sporks (combination utensil/tool); heavy work gloves (size Large); head lamps; safety glasses; all-weather spiral notebooks; pens; Leatherman-style tools; Nalgene water bottles and handmade Paracord “Survival” Bracelets.  See a Paracord Bracelet pictured, left. Learn more about them here: How to Make a Paracord Bracelet.  To download and print: Paracord Bracelet Instructions and: Make a Weaving Apparatus (Jig)

Need Paracord Materials or information?
Email Kelly at OpGratParacord@gmail.com

Please consider organizing acollection drive” to gather FR Kit items for us. (Find an informational flyer about “How to Host a Collection Drive” on our website: http://www.operationgratitude.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/CollectionDrive.pdfProduct donations may be shipped to:

Operation Gratitude/California Army National Guard
17330 Victory Boulevard
Van Nuys, CA 91406
Attn: Angel Cuevas/First Responder Program

Please download, fill out and include a Donation Form in every package you send us. Find important donation and shipping tips here: Donation & Shipping Info

Note: If you want confirmation of delivery on your shipments of item donations prior to receipt of our acknowledgment letter (allow up to 12 weeks), please use the tracking system provided by your shipper. 

Financial donations are welcome and may be made online:  https://www.operationgratitude.com/donate/online-credit-cards/

Or by check payable to Operation Gratitude and mailed to: 

Operation Gratitude
P.O. Box 260257
Encino, CA 91426-0257

In keeping with our mission of providing “hands-on” opportunities to say “Thank You” to our nation’s heroes, we encourage our supporters all over the country to make Paracord “Survival” Bracelets to include in each First Responder Kit, as well as in the care packages to deployed troops. 

More information and instructions can be found here: How to Make a Paracord Bracelet.

Thank you for your generous support to make all this possible!

About Operation Gratitude

Operation Gratitude annually sends 100,000+ care packages filled with snacks, entertainment, hygiene and hand-made items, plus personal letters of appreciation to Veterans, New Recruits, First Responders, Wounded Warriors, Care Givers and to individually named U.S. Service Members deployed overseas. Our mission is to lift the spirits and meet the evolving needs of our Active Duty and Veteran communities, and provide volunteer opportunities for all Americans to say "Thank You" to members of our Military. Each package contains donated product valued at $75-100 and costs the organization $15 to assemble and ship. Since its inception in 2003, Operation Gratitude volunteers have shipped more than One Million Care Packages.
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17 Responses to Partnering with Heroes to Support Heroes

  1. Jana Free says:

    Hello, Are there certain hours that are acceptable to bring in paracord bracelets or is anytime okay? My son is making bracelets for you for high school community service. Can we receive a confirmation letter of community service on the day we bring them in? Thank you!

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  3. Cindy says:

    Hi it is now March 2014 and I am looking for service activities for a girl’s camp this summer. I am wondering if you will still be interested in the paracord bracelets then?

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  9. K. M says:

    I know it says June 2012, but are you still Accepting donations? If you are, i would love to make a few homemade paracord bracelets for the donation. I love making them, and recently, I have wanted to make them for a good cause to support our EMS, FR, and Military. Because thats really what they stand for. If you are still accepting, or k ow of anybody else. Please contact me! Thanks

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  12. Congrats and keep up the good world. :)

  13. ssgt leslie says:

    what a great idea, i posted a link on my facebook page, thanks for your continue support…

  14. Justina says:

    This is so awesome! The big bro actually served with Jake Wood in Iraq and Afghanistan. I think they were in different companies though. Such a small world. Keep doing great things Op Grat! :)

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