Operation Iraqi Freedom has officially transitioned to Operation New Dawn.  Yet, 50,000 Soldiers remain in combat-ready mode in Iraq, 100,000 troops are currently deployed in the Operation Enduring Freedom-Afghanistan combat zone, and tens of thousands more are serving in the Persian Gulf, Kosovo, Bosnia, Africa, the Middle East and other hot spots around the world.

Operation Gratitude continues to support the hundreds of thousands of military men and women deployed in harm’s way.  Your participation is needed more than ever to help send 50,000 Holiday Care Packages filled with respect and appreciation.

“ThousandReading Letters of miles away in hostile territory and cut off from the comforts and communication we all take for granted, our troops often feel that Americans at home no longer remember or care about them,” said Carolyn Blashek, founder of Operation Gratitude.  “As the war in Afghanistan surges into its 10th year, and U.S. Soldiers continue to face down an enemy in Iraq, we need to reassure our Military that they are not forgotten, especially during the most difficult time of year away from loved ones: The Holidays.”

There are many ways you can help. The most urgent needs are for financial donations to pay for postage, personal letters, hand-made scarves and Beanie Babies/WebKinz/Trolls.   We have heard from many service members that they give the stuffed animals to the local children, who in turn provide information on where IED’s (bombs) are hidden.  As one stated: “Not only are you putting smiles on our faces, you are saving our lives.”

For information on planning fundraisers and other ideas, check and “Like” our Facebook pages: www.facebook.com/OperationGratitude and www.facebook.com/HalloweenCandy, visit the Website at www.OperationGratitude.com or email info@operationgratitude.com.

Each package is addressed to an individual Soldier, Sailor, Airman or Marine by name.  Every donation of $15 sends another package containing over 50 items of snack foods, entertainment products, toiletries and personal letters of appreciation that put smiles on our troops’  faces.

*The contents of a typical Operation Gratitude care package include:
The U.S. Constitution
3-5 Personal Letters plus the Operation Gratitude Greeting Card
The Operation Gratitude Magazine
UFC Fight DVDsoldier-1scarf_2010
TV/Movie DVD and a Musical CD
Box of Girl Scout Cookies
Hand Made Scarf
Beanie Baby
Deck of Cards
Bag of Beef Jerky
Cough Drops
Toothbrush, toothpaste, Mouthwash
Motorcycle/Auto Magazine
Lip Balm
Several Assorted Candies, Fruit Roll Ups
Emergen-C Packets
Energy Drinks
Power Bars
Pack of Greeting Cards, Pens
Pistachio Nuts
T-shirt or Baseball Cap
Tins of Mints
Packs of Gum
Skin Care Products
Deck of Sports Cards
Laundry Detergent
Hand Sanitizer; Wipes
Body or Hand Warmers
Beer Nuts
Foot Care Products

Your donation of just $15 will send another Care Package with all these items and more!   We know times are tough, but our troops deserve your “Thank You!”  Please sponsor as many packages as you can for the Holidays.

Online donations can be made here: $15 per Package

Checks or money orders can be made out and mailed to:
Operation Gratitude
16444 Refugio Road
Encino, CA 91436

*A full listing of Corporate Friends and Sponsors is on the website.

For more information, visit:

Creative ways to help can be found on the Great Ideas page.

Thank you for your support!

About Operation Gratitude

Operation Gratitude annually sends 200,000+ care packages to Veterans, First Responders, New Recruits, Wounded Heroes, their Care Givers, and to individually named U.S. service members deployed overseas and their families waiting at home. Each package is filled with food, entertainment, hygiene and hand-made items, as well as personal letters of support. Our mission is to lift the spirits and meet the evolving needs of the Military and First Responder communities, and provide volunteer opportunities for civilians anywhere in America to express their appreciation to all who serve our nation. Each package contains donated product valued between $45 and $100 and costs our organization $15 to assemble and ship. Since its inception in 2003, Operation Gratitude volunteers have shipped more than 1.6 Million Care Packages.
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