Why? One Service Member told us, “…it may sound silly but the beanie Baby brings an odd feeling of comfort to a grown man.”
Another wrote, “Every work center in my division has a Beanie donated by Operation Gratitude; they’ve become something like mascots to my Sailors.”
Here is an especially touching email we received recently:
“I really wanted to thank you, the volunteers and supporters of Operation Gratitude. We have started receiving the goodie boxes. Everyone who received the boxes was so excited today. Everyone has their beanie baby on their desks. One person’s box had a very touching reaction. She got a stuffed squirrel just like the one she gave her dad when she was younger. He had used Velcro to stick it on the dash of his truck. He has since passed away, but her face lit up when she received the squirrel today. You reminded her of all the good times she had with her dad. All the Sailors had grins on their faces today. I cannot tell you how much we appreciate what you do for us. Have a blessed day! Very Respectfully, NCC(AW/SW) B.J.G.”
Many of the service members enjoy the Beanie Babies as a symbol of support from home. As one Master Sergeant wrote:
“I think everyone has had the most fun with the beanie babies. They are decorating and playing with them. The shop kind of looks like a beanie baby zoo. Of course most of us are male so it’s not normal for this which makes it very unusual but fun to watch. Thanks again for the boost to morale from your show of support.”
For some, the toys provide cheery comfort, a reminder of childhood…To others, they’re tokens of friendship to be shared with children in the villages where our troops patrol…and a great number of these toys make it all the way home at the end of deployments to be given as gifts for loved ones.
But the bottom line is: See these smiles? That’s reason enough for us!
We WELCOME donations of small, stuffed toys (Beanie Babies, Webkinz, etc. — 6″ and smaller). Find some on our Amazon.com “Wish List” or host a collection drive for new or gently used ones at your work place, neighborhood or school.
Please include a Donation Form with any package you send us. Ship donations to:
17330 Victory Boulevard
Van Nuys, CA 91406
Questions? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
THANK YOU for your support!