Precious Treasures: Letters from Kids!

Time and time again, when we hear back from the troops who receive our care packages, they tell us much the same thing — how wonderful it is to hear from children:

“Received your lovely Operation Gratitude parcel today in Kandahar, Afghanistan.  Thank you very much for your kindness to the soldiers. It means so much to us. My favorites were the letters from the children. I have been a soldier for 28 years and have fought in many places. Despite all that, the children’s words always hit a hidden place in our hearts.  May God bless you richly in all you do.  V/R, SGM J.M.”

“…You guys are truly awesome.  I’m happy I received a package from Operation Gratitude.  The letters from the school kids made me proud of serving my country….SPC D.C.”

“… I cannot stress how important this organization is to everyone in the service and how incredibly thankful we are that there are people like you and all of your volunteers here to support us! The best things in any packages are the letters, especially the ones from the kids. Thank you again for all that you do. You guys are the true heroes!  SSgt K.S.”

“…Words cannot describe the joy that I feel when I read the letters from the kids. Their letters will always remind me to be courageous and to always stand tall. I wish to thank every single one of you from the bottom of my heart for your love and support. Keep up the great work and God bless you all.  AT3(AW) R.W.”

Sure, they definitely appreciate the coffee, snacks, DVDs and all the other goodies we pack into their boxes, but the items that have the most lasting impact on these men and women so far from home are the simple drawings and letters of thanks sent from these young Americans they may never meet face-to-face.

What is wonderful is that writing to the troops is something we all can do! We invite students, parents and teachers, as well as scout, youth and community group leaders to organize letter-writing projects so we can be sure to include several of these precious treasures in each of the care packages we send.


  • Keep your message upbeat and positive
  • Be thankful–share a little bit about yourself
  • Ask questions; however, do not discuss death or killing.
  • Avoid politics completely and religion in excess.
  • Ask yourself: Will this letter bring a smile to someone’s face?


  • Sample salutations: Dear Hero, Dear Brave One, Dear Brave American
  • Include your own U.S. mail or email address so recipients can choose to reply
    STUDENTS: Use first name only plus teacher’s name/classroom and school address.
    TEACHERS: Use your name and contact information on students’ letters.
  • No stamps or envelopes are needed.
  • Hand-written letters or cards are most appreciated.
  • No glitter please.
  • All letters will be screened – please do not seal envelopes.
  • Send multiple letters together in one large mailing envelope or box.
  • If you do not receive a reply from a Service Member, do not be discouraged. Remember: Our troops are busy!

(Download and print our Letter Writing flyer and/or our Letter Writing flyer for Teachers to have these tips and instructions handy.)

Please be sure to use the tracking system provided by your shipper if you want confirmation of delivery on your shipments of donations prior to receipt of our acknowledgment letter (allow up to 12 weeks).

Letters may be senttogether in one large mailing envelope or box to:

Operation Gratitude
21100 Lassen Street
Chatsworth, CA 91311
ATTN: Letter Writing Program

Your only cost is in sending the letters to Operation Gratitude.  However, any financial contributions toward the cost of shipping the care packages overseas  ($15/package) would be greatly appreciated.

Be sure to visit the Mail Call section on our website to read the great letters and email we receive from the troops.

THANK YOU for your support of the troops — your thoughtfulness and generosity goes a long way in helping to bring a smile to each of their faces!

Don’t forget to find us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter — and please help us spread the word about what we do!

About Operation Gratitude

Operation Gratitude annually sends 150,000+ 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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8 Responses to Precious Treasures: Letters from Kids!

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