2018 Scarves for Troops Program

Operation Gratitude’s Scarves for Troops Program is more popular than ever thanks to the dedicated and generous support from talented people like YOU all across the country! These handmade-with-love gifts are treasured by all who receive them! ScarvesforTroopsCollage If you have knitting or crocheting skills, we invite you to join us — starting now — so we can include one of these precious gifts in each of the winter-time care packages we send! Want to get started? Here are a few Frequently Asked Questions…and Answers!

  • Is there a pattern for the scarves and hats? There is no specific pattern to follow so feel free to use your own — or you can find some here: PATTERNSWe do recommend that you keep them simple and perhaps use slightly larger needles so more can be made! Please keep your scarves within our size restrictions (no larger than 4″-6″ wide, 48″-50″ long) so they fit into our care packages. No fringe. You may notice that the size guidelines are a bit smaller than in the past. Do NOT be concerned if yours are a little wider or longer. It is still absolutely fine. Our scarves that are a bit too large for our regular boxes are enjoyed and appreciated by our Wounded Heroes or our Veterans.
  • What yarns and colors should we use? Any soft yarn is fine and any color will be accepted, but if possible please keep the colors on the subtle side–blues, browns, olives, 005grays, maroon, and black are all good choices, as well as appropriate for male and female troops! Stripes using these colors or multi-colored yarn is acceptable. NOTE: We have reviewed our policy with our Military advisors and have been cleared to accept scarves and hats made with a red, white and blue color combination.

Please note: The scarves and hats we send are gifts from home. This message is from Carolyn Blashek, Founder of Operation Gratitude:

“The importance of the scarves in our packages is to send the very warm and loving message that people at home care enough to take the time and effort to make something as beautiful as a scarf. Our scarves, hats, etc. are not ‘regulation,’ so they can only be worn by the troops during their moments of rest and when they go home. Nevertheless, the message they send is enduring. Due to potential allergies and/or Military uniform restrictions, please list the fiber content on your ‘Made With Love’ note that you attach to the scarf.”

  • Should I attach a letter or note? We make sure that all hand-made items HandmadewithLoveinclude a short note and an e-mail address. If you could do so for each of your hats and scarves (include the fiber content information, too) it would be most helpful! Notes make the gift even more special when the item is personalized. The note can be as simple as “Handmade with love” OR a letter telling about yourself, including your email address or your home address. (If you are uncomfortable using your personal address, feel free to use ours — info@operationgratitude.com — but please also include your full name so we can be sure to forward replies on to you!)
  • Will I get a letter of acknowledgment from Operation Gratitude? Yes, we will keep track of all the scarves and hats you send or deliver to the armory, then send you a thank you letter within 12 weeks. If you want confirmation of delivery of your shipment(s), please use the tracking system provided by your shipper.
  • Where should I send my donations? Please send them to the address below, and please remember to fill out this Donation Form:

    Operation Gratitude
    21100 Lassen Street
    Chatsworth, CA 91311-4278 

    Find helpful shipping tips, cost-saving ideas and important information here:  Donation & Shipping InfoIf 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. 

  • Can I drop off my donations in person? Yes, donation drop offs, product deliveries, and recycled phones are accepted during all Volunteer Hours at our facility (“The FOB”) in Chatsworth, CA: Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • When do you accept donations of hand-made items? We can accept them year-round. 

More questions? Please send us an email: Info@OperationGratitude.com – we’ll reply asap! Here are a few more tips to keep in mind… Tied-on Note

1. The best way to attach your personal notes to your scarves is with a piece of yarn through a hole in the note and then tied to the scarf (shown, left). Include your contact information — an email or “snail mail” address — so the recipient can send you a “thank you” if they have time!

2. Many of you are thoughtful to place each scarf in an individual plastic zip-lock bag. That is not necessary. Instead, when mailing to the Armory, please place scarves all together in one large plastic zip-lock or draw-string bag so the scarves remain clean and dry during transit to us and while waiting to be shipped to the troops. 

3. For more information about the Hand-Made Items program, patterns for Scarves, Hats, Paracord “Survival” Bracelets and Bandana Cool-Ties to knit, crochet and sew, check out our website:

Express Your Thanks!

4. Be sure to visit our Pinterest board for more inspiration and ideas. Our hope is that you will be inspired to keep your hands and needles busy making these gifts all year round! Our goal is to send 50,000+ every year!! We definitely need your help.

Last but not least: Is your loved one deployed? Request an Operation Gratitude care package today.

Thank you again for all your generous support! “Busy Hands, Happy Heart!”

MORE QUESTIONS? Send them to: Info@OperationGratitude.com



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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152 Responses to 2018 Scarves for Troops Program

  1. Robin Negron says:

    My family has many members who have served: my father, 22 years in the Army, 2 1-year tours in Vietnam (now deceased); two brothers who served in the Navy (older brother deceased); my brother-in-law is a Marine veteran and also served in Vietnam; my first father-in-law served 30 years in the Air Force, was a WWII fighter pilot, and served in the war with Korea (now deceased); my husband is an Army veteran, was a Combat Medic in the first desert conflict; and my husband’s father was an Army veteran, and served as a recruiter, as well (now deceased). I am a proud Army “Brat” and love my connection to our Armed Forces! I have been looking for a way to give back for a long time, and this cause just came up on a crochet page I belong to on Facebook. What a great way to show our troops we care, we think about them, and appreciate all they’ve sacrificed for us! I can hardly wait to get started! Thank you for this wonderful opportunity.

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  4. Karen Rohan says:

    I am very interested in making scarfs. I hope you are still taking donations.

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  8. Jean Conklin says:

    I have several friends in the local Senior Center interested in knitting scarves for our soldiers. Can donation forms be sent in the packages to you as some members to do not have computers etc.

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  10. Linda Mack says:

    I would like to start doing this once I am healed.

  11. Sherry J Forbes says:

    I just got this site a few days ago and have already finished a scarf! I am honoured to make something for these heroes.

  12. Have been doing this for 2 years. However I find the shipping cost high, $1/scarf”. How does everyone send their packages?

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  14. Paige says:

    Can the scarves donated be larger than 4 x 36 inches?

  15. Marie K Valentino says:

    I was in Joanns looking at yarn next a young lady doing the same thing. She mentioned Op Grat and the rest is history. Not only are our troops Angels, but sometimes you find them in the yarn department.. I have 2 dozen ready and will be sending..

  16. Lori says:

    I read your comment that you are doing this also to honour Captain Luis Carlos montalvan. We have lost a beautiful man he has left a legacy behind of advocacy and we must keep his story alive and keep telling people about him and his service dog Tuesday.

  17. sandylulay says:

    Looking forward to donating for next year.

  18. Kathleen says:

    Looking forward to being a part of this program. I have a son-in-law who has finished 4 tours as a Marine, and may be going again; two grand-sons who are in the Marines; and we lost a grand-son (Marine) in Afghanistan.

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  20. Ellen Toothacker says:

    I have injured my hands and am unable to knit anymore. Would loom-knit scarves and hats be acceptable? I haven’t tried it since my injury but would love to contribute if possible.

  21. Amy says:

    I have been looking for a service project for a while now. I was so happy to see this in my news feed on facebook. My husband is getting ready to retire after 19 years in the Army so the military has been something near and dear to my heart for years. I’ll miss out on making any scarves this year, but plan to send a bunch next year.

  22. Roberta Romero says:

    I am so excited to get to be involved with this program! I am so amazed with this scarf program! And I will be most definitely doing this! I have been working on some scarves here n there so I will be so happy to make more!! I am also going to be recruiting some of my friends and family! Even if they help in donating some yarn or time I’m going to take them up on it plz let me know what other handmade products you are in need of and I will get recruits for that! Thank you all for this opportunity cause right now I’m dealing with Bell’s palsy and I need to keep myself as busy as I can!

    • Thank you so very much, Roberta — we are grateful for your support! Scarves, hats, and paracord “survival” bracelets are what we send the most — you can find more ideas on our “Handmade-with-Love” Pinterest board. Please let us know if you have more questions by sending an email to Kelly@OperationGratitude.com and she’ll get back to you asap! Thank you again!

      • thecraftladysite says:

        You all are very welcome! I’m happy to do this for them as the do so much more for us protecting us and keeping everyone safe!

  23. Rebekah says:

    What a wonderful idea! I’m an Army National Guard soldier and the wife of a disabled veteran, and I would love to help. My question is, I generally arm knit instead of using needles, so the scarves are a little bulkier and the loops are bigger. I can either sew the ends together to make an infinity scarf or leave them open like a traditional scarf. Will this be acceptable?

  24. Donna Dooley says:

    so happy I saw this this morning..I will be sending scarves your way !!

  25. Carrie Kanngieser says:

    I can’t wait to start working on hats and scarfs for the troops.

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  27. The Mrs. G's says:

    This page just recently came up on my Face Book news feed, and I was excited to see it. I have my own crochet page which you can find on FB (left 2 crochet). I am the mom to 3 AF sons and 1 Navy son-in-law. I call them my Blue Stars. Two of them are currently deployed, so I understand more than I used to about the needs of our service men and women. I will begin crocheting scarves this weekend! Is it ok to crochet hats as well?

    • Yes, absolutely — hats are great, too! We have some suggested patterns linked in the blog post, but feel free to use your own patterns. We are grateful for your sons’ and son-in-law’s service and hope the two who are deployed are signed up to receive one of our free care packages. If you have more questions, please let us know: Kelly@OperationGratitude.com can answer all your “handmade with love” questions and you can email Info@OperationGratitude.com for everything else. THANK YOU for your support!

  28. Deborah Hurrell says:

    I just found this site, What a great idea. I love it. Is it too late to make and donate some scarfs? I’m kind of new to crocheting , but would love to try and make some, if it’s not too late.

  29. Bonnie Slighter says:

    I’m very interested in knitting scarves and hats for our troops! I have so much yarn that I was wondering what to do with and now I know! My son currently serves in the US Navy!

  30. lee miller says:

    I was looking for a service project I can do since I am home bound. This fits what I can do. Thank you for organizing such a great project. Our service people need to know we appreciate them. Lee miller in florida

  31. Rebecca white says:

    How do we get the boxes to ship scarfs in. I have some that I can donate but they have matching ear muffles and not hats. I had them made up to donate to a shelter. Don’t remember what type of yarn for sure but I think wool.

  32. josette86 says:

    Is there any way to make afghans/blankets for the soldiers? I know space is limited with the scarves, but I’m sure they can always use a blanket as well.

    • Rebecca White says:

      I have some made up with matching ear muffles. I don’t have any way to print off the donation form. I will get them in the mail. I think all are made with wool.

  33. tonya says:

    I have cats that love to “help” me crochet. Due to allergies, if they are launderer before sending is that acceptable? I have an alternative place without pet hair to store, pack, ship, launder, etc.

  34. Nancy Hawes, 139 Rowe St, New Bedford, MA 02740 says:

    I belong to Knitters for Charity in Hudson and Bayonet Point, Florida in the winter. Love making scarves. Will be sending them.

  35. 139 Rowe Street, New Bedford, MA 02740 says:

    I belong to the Knitters For Charity in Hudson and Bayonet Point, Florida. Will be making scarves right away. Right now I am in Massachusetts. Thank you for the opportunity.

  36. T. Rutledge says:

    Do we have to use the donation form? I have no way of printing it out.

    • If you can write out and provide us with all the info we’re asking for on the donation form, it doesn’t have to be the exact form — that will work, too. We want to be able to acknowledge your donation with a “thank you”/receipt. Please let us know if you have more questions by sending an email to Info@OperationGratitude.com Thank you!

  37. Dianne says:

    Do you accept scarves from Canada?

  38. Nicky says:

    I would love to help but I only have my smartphone and can not print out ur donation form would tht be a problem?

  39. Kelly Wolff says:

    I did not know this program existed, I am a veteran and a military mom so would love to help in some way if I can.

  40. Linda Dryer says:

    Did not know this program existed. I crochet and will definitely get some together. What a great idea to show the brave men and women that we truly care and are in our prayers.

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  42. Reblogged this on Bookgirl and commented:
    I will definitely be participating this year.

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  44. Debby Schwatz says:

    Awesome site👍

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  46. Adrienne Zinder says:

    Sounds like a terrific idea and I want to participate. When do you want the items sent to you, i.e., when do you start assembling the packages that would include these scarves? Thanks!

  47. Christine Roberson says:

    I would like to participate. I am a 60% disabled veteran. I have a lot of yarn, to crochet with.

    Thank you

    Christine Roberson

  48. armine says:

    Yes!! I’ll be doing this with a few friends!! Great idea❤️

  49. CJ says:

    Great idea. Will get my Knitting Club working away!

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  51. lucy scott says:

    My friend and I would like to crochet and donate some scarves. One question, do you also accept fingerless gloves?

  52. Just learned of this and thought of a way we’d like to help! We’ll reimburse for the yarn for creative folk who will make the scarves using our wonderful alpaca yarn: http://purelyalpaca.com/blogs/purelyalpaca-blog/128566531-purely-alpaca-supports-scarves-for-the-troops

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  54. So excited to see this program. I work for a non profit in southwest Va. so I am always looking for good programs. I am in the process of trying to get several programs going at the moment, but I cant wait to get myself and my friends started on this one.

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  56. Lindsay Fulton says:

    This organization is awesome! I had a great time making scarves and it is so cool to know that they are going to somebody who is protecting me. You guys rock!!!

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  61. Suzanna Padilla says:

    Hi my name is Suzanna Padilla. I have a lot of scarves made-up, that I use to sell, but I would really like to give them. I only have females made is that ok?. Let me know and I will gladly put them in the mail. Thank you Suzanna Padilla

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  63. Crystal says:

    I got a group of about 10 people we have been making the scarfs. And I would like to know if I can drop them off at the office?

  64. Gail Baskett says:

    Sharing this with friends that knit and crochet! Never knew about this! (I’m a Navy mom. My son is a career Corpsman. I’m always sending care packages to his friends that are deployed and I personally cannot thank you enough!! I know how important these packages are!!!)

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  66. Jeannette says:

    My Brother bought me about 15 skeins of yarn and I am making some scarves with some of it. I’m wondering if it would be OK to make some lapghans for our Wounded Warriors? Please let me know if this is OK. Thank you for giving me something to do for our Country. God Bless You and keep up the great work!

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  68. Ann Heckenlaible says:

    I am so honored and thankful to be knitting for our troops! I’m working on a scarf right now 🙂 What a wonderful program, God bless you and God bless our troops! Sincerely Ann

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  70. Marion says:

    I bought yesterday wool. This was something new for me, to find subtle colours and a little bit thicker one. But I got it. Normally I use more vivid colours, socks and blankets/blankies.
    At home I have little metal lables in heart shape “Made with love”. Is it ok to put them on the scarves ?
    I’ll start tomorrow or Saturday.

  71. Jeanette Brindley says:

    Hi i’m in the UK and would love to get involved in something like this. Do you know of something similar in the UK, i’m just thinking about the cost of sending items to you.

  72. texagander12 says:

    I see one picture that appears to have a cowl instead of a regular scarf. Is a cowl acceptable as well?

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  77. Michol Mae says:

    Hello, I think this is great, I would love to do something special, I don’t know how to knit…yet… but I am a musician, could I send a CD single in with my friends scarves?

  78. Erica says:

    I have some beanie babies would like to donate and saw the great website about other items to donate or make…

    My only concern now with donating beanies some have red,whit,blue pattern that look like flags
    thought this would be great Idea only not sure if Ok ?
    Please advise if I should remove these beanie babies
    Thank you ,Erica

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  86. Reblogged this on The Texas Phoenix Blog and commented:
    This is a great program! If you can knit or crochet, please consider participating.

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  88. Kathy stevens says
    I have knitted over 30 scarves 4 ur troups in iqra back in the year of 2011
    and I always wanted 2do something like this again
    and I would like 2 do it again but this time I would like 2 knit something in our troup colors if I can

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  90. ly says:

    Reblogged this on realism redefined and commented:
    Sharing this with you today. Sharing hats and scarves soon.

  91. Laura Young says:

    Thanks for this post. I knitted hats for the troops one winter. Nothing more rewarding. Getting started on scarves today!!!

  92. Victoria says:

    I’m loving this project! We are 25 women strong (and growing) crocheting away to donate to the troops this year!

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  94. emjayandthem says:

    My Father-in-law, a widower, was looking for something to do. He learned to crochet as a boy, when sick with whooping cough. I told him about your scarf program and he’s been shipping scarves to you folks for about 2 years now. He also makes lap blankets for our Veteran’s Home. A touch of home – no matter where in the world you are – feels like love, doesn’t it? 🙂


  95. williamdbailey says:

    Reblogged this on The Founder's Blog and commented:
    If you knit or crochet, or know someone who does, here is an opportunity to send a heartfelt “Thank You” to a serviceman of woman.

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