"Operation Gratitude "
State Project 2017-2018
My name is Edna Oswald. I am the Missouri State Society Children of the American Revolution's State President this year. My project is to raise funds for Operation Gratitude. Operation Gratitude is a 501 (c) (3), volunteer-based organization that sends care packages and letters of support to individual United States Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines deployed overseas in harm's way, to their children left behind, and to First Responders, Veterans, New Recruits, Military Families, Wounded Heroes and their caregivers. Operation Gratitude's mission is to lift morale in the Military and First Responder communities and to provide every American an opportunity to say "Thank You."
The organization was founded by Carolyn Blashek who started volunteering at the military lounge at the Los Angeles airport after 9-11. It was there that she spoke to a young soldier on leave to attend his mother's funeral. His wife had left him and his only child had died as an infant. He had no one else in his life and told her that "I'm going back over there; I know I won't make it back this time, but it really doesn't matter because no one would even care." Blashek realized that when bullets are flying, troops must believe that someone at home cares about them as an individual. That's when Operation Gratitude was born.
Operation Gratitude has implemented several additional Care Package Programs in responses to developing needs within the Military Community:
Deployed Troop Care Package Program: This is the main program for Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines who have been deployed overseas.
Battalion Buddy Program: This program sends a cuddly stuffed animal or "Battalion Buddy" to children of deployed service members.
Wounded Heroes Program: This program provides comfort items to troops recovering in Military Hospitals and Wounded Warrior Transition Units.
Veterans Care Packages: This program coordinates with V.A. Hospitals, Nursing Homes, Veterans' groups and Homeless Veteran Support Organizations to provide care packages for Veterans to let them know they are never forgotten.
First Responder Care Kits: These kits are for the first responders here at home including law enforcement, firefighters, and emergency medics.
New Recruit Care Packages: This program thanks the newest members of the Military for stepping forward to devote the next several years of their lives in service to our nation. In addition to an assortment of hygiene, entertainment and handmade items, each Care Package includes a "Loved One Medallion," a specially designed Operation Gratitude keepsake for the New Recruit to share with a special family member or friend.
Disaster Relief Supplies: Basic necessities, including food, toiletries, household products, blankets and clothing are collected and distributed nationwide to Military families and Veterans facing financial hardships and homelessness due to catastrophe, unemployment, PTSD, illness or injury.
Currently, Operation Gratitude has sent over 1.7 MILLION care packages.Join me in supporting Operation Gratitude!
M.S.S.C.A.R. State President