Tom Connolly’s Walk Across America

Please Donate if you can to this cause for my good friends at Operation Gratitude! Go Tom!!!

Operation Gratitude Blog

Tom Connolly Walks AmericaYou may have been following Tom Connolly, a devoted friend to Operation Gratitude who has been walking (yes, walking) across the country to raise money and awareness for our troops. For the past several years, he organized a wonderful comedy night fundraiser for us in Los Angeles, CA, but in 2015, Tom wanted to step up his game in a big way.

A really big way, actually…

That’s how Tom ConnollyTC Walks Americawas born!

Tom began his journey on April 25th at the Armory in Van Nuys where he officially kicked off his amazing adventure with a celebratory ribbon cutting ceremony in front of hundreds of Operation Gratitude volunteers.

He loaded up his gear and we sent him on his way…

Since that Saturday afternoon, Tom has trekked more than 2,000 miles in rain, sun, snow, sleet, and even a tornado scare! Nothing has stopped him and we are amazed by his incredible perseverance, spirit, and…

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“Thank YOU For Your Support!”

Together we will create even MORE smiles in 2015! Way to go Operation Gratitude!!

Operation Gratitude Blog

2014 donationsTogether we will create even MORE smiles in 2015!

As always, THANK YOU for generosity and support!

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A Simple “Thank You” with a Lasting Impact

Help Support All The Great Things My Good Friends At Operation Gratitude Do For Our Troops & Wounded Warriors!

Operation Gratitude Blog

The following is a Guest Blog Post from Renee Swetlik:

Homan Elementary SchoolIt started as a simple thank you…And turned into a learning experience Homan Elementary School students will never forget.

In class this past January, Homan students talked about freedom and what it means to them. As the school librarian, I created a Letter to a Hero center in the library, and the students rose to the challenge by writing to Wounded Warrior Heroes who have served our country in the U.S. Military. Our goal: to say “thank you” and brighten their day, if only for a moment.

Over 500 letters were sent to Operation Gratitude for their Wounded Warrior Care Packages.

In February, we received a letter from Carolyn Blashek, President of Operation Gratitude. In her letter she stated: “The recipients of your generosity will remember your kindness forever.”

Even then, we did not truly understand just what an impact these letters make!

Soon after…

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Donate Cell Phones & Smartphones to Benefit our Military

C’mon people, DONATE those phones you don’t use!! #SOT

Operation Gratitude Blog

Is it time to upgrade your cell phone or smartphone? Want to help support the Military Community and Operation Gratitude’s Programs when you do?

Donate your phone and GRC Wireless will contribute up to $150 (or more) to Operation Gratitude for each phone!

It’s simple! Visit the GRC website for all the information and instructions. Shipping is GRC WirelessFREE for 10 or more phones — download and use this flyer to organize a collection drive at your place of business, school or in your neighborhood.

IMG_0931Questions? Visit theGRC FAQ page, send an email to or give them a call at 877-744-3601.

Your donation will help Operation Gratitude support veterans, deployed troops, wounded warriors and military families!

Check out other ways you can Help Make More Smiles — No Matter Where You Live!

Thank you for your generous support!

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Operation Gratitude’s Military Support Programs

Help continue to Support this wonderful organization. 🙂
Thank you!!

Operation Gratitude Blog

Feb 1 025carepackages
Did you know that Operation Gratitude volunteers send more than 200,000 care packages every year?

Our mission is to lift the spirits and meet the evolving needs of our Active Duty and Veteran communities.  To do so, we have developed these unique care package programs, each with the goal of saying “Thank You” to our heroes:

NMCB 26Deployed Troop Care Packages: Our volunteers assemble and ship our hallmark Operation Gratitude Care Packages to deployed Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines, each package personally addressed by name.

Recruit Care Packages: Our “New Recruit” Care Package program thanks our newest members of the Military for stepping forward and devoting the next several years of their life in service to our nation by presenting a Care Package to them on Graduation day from Boot Camp.

Battalion Buddy Packages: We send cuddly stuffed animal “Battalion Buddy” packages to the children of deploying service members. Each Battalion…

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Take time to say, “Thank you for serving!”

Send a letter to them sending inspiration and letting them know that we care!😃

Operation Gratitude Blog

Who doesn’t love getting MAIL? 1428880C

Without a doubt, the most popular items in the care packages we send are the letters of thanks written by grateful Americans of all ages. Some messages are a single sentence long, some go on for a full page or more and others are little more than a sweet drawing and a heartfelt “Thank you.”

But each letter is cherished and greatly appreciated by the recipient!

There is no such thing as a “typical” letter — that’s what makes each one so very special.

June 14 - 15 006

Kids send cheerful drawings like this one, left, and the troops decorate their living and work spaces with precious reminders that they are not forgotten by all of us back home.

“Receiving support from home is always welcomed here and my favorite part of care packages are the letters and drawings from the kids. Those make my day! Thanks again! AM2 A.R.H.”

The troops…

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WANTED: Volunteers to Make Paracord “Survival” Bracelets

Please help spread the word if you can help! Thank you! 🙂

Operation Gratitude Blog

photo (1)We need over 100,000 Paracord “Survival” Bracelets to include in each of our care packages going to deployed troops overseas; to new recruits graduating from Boot Camp; to veterans here at home, and to first responders aiding in emergency situations!

Read on to learn basic details about this program, and check out Paracord “Survival” Bracelets FAQsfor more information.

Why a Paracord Bracelet?

Not only are the bracelets really cool-looking, they can actually be used to save a life in an emergency situation. Virtually all branches of the U.S. military use paracord (which gets its name from parachute cord and can hold up to 550 lbs. weight). The bracelet gives the person wearing it 7.5 feet to use in an emergency. But really and most importantly, a paracord bracelet lets our heroic service men and women know you care, you remember and you appreciate them.

How can a Paracord “Survival” Bracelet be used?Bracelet Blog

Paracord “Survival” Bracelets…

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Oklahoma Military Needs Your Help

In the aftermath of the devastating tornadoes in Oklahoma, we have found Military families and First Responders in need through Tinker Air Force Base and the Oklahoma National Guard. We are preparing care packages and pallets of materials to send out asap (hopefully by Friday or early next week, and continuing as needed).

We welcome your help in collecting items and/or donating funds to help with the added shipping costs.


Operation Gratitude Blog

63rd CST supports Moore tornado search and rescue operations
In the aftermath of the devastating tornadoes in Oklahoma, we have found Military families and First Responders in need through Tinker Air Force Base and the Oklahoma National Guard. We are preparing care packages and pallets of materials to send out asap (hopefully by Friday or early next week, and continuing as needed).

We welcome your help in collecting items and/or donating funds to help with the added shipping costs.  

Here are the most needed items — for your convenience, you can find many of them on our “Wish List”which ships directly to us:        

OK Support1. Nonperishable food: Baby Formula, Bottled Water, PowerBars, KIND Bars, energy bars or any other nutritious item that is both non-perishable and easily stored. 

2. ClothingAny type of new clothing: Men, Women and Children.

3. Entertainment items: Playing cards, books or any other entertainment that does not require electricity. 

4. Morale lifts:

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Armed Forces Day 2013

Thank You for All You Do!!

Operation Gratitude Blog

Happy Armed Forces Day! THANK YOU to our U.S. Troops and Veterans for all you do and have done in service to our country!

Armed Forces DayWe are deeply grateful!

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Please support Operation Gratitude! #SOT

Operation Gratitude Blog

Save the Date image
Save the Date and join us as we celebrate our ONE MILLIONTH CARE PACKAGE on December 7th this year! To keep posted about all the festivities, sign up on our “March to a Million Info” list here:

The One Millionth Care Package Event on December 7will offer many exciting opportunities to showcase your support for our Military! To find out how you, your business or organization can participate in this very patriotic community event, please

But you don’t need to wait until December 7 to support the troops — join us at the armory (find our schedule here: ) or choose from several different ways you can help out, no matter where you live: Take Your Pick — Support the Troops!

Here’s just one fun hands-on “Millionth Package” activity we recently posted — great for students, scouts, and everyone:Special “March to a…

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If you can donate to our Men and Women serving overseas, please do so!
Thank you!! 🙂

Operation Gratitude Blog

We’re not keeping it a secret…we absolutely depend on item and financial donations to continue our work to support deployed troops, the children they leave behind, military veterans, new recruits and emergency first responders.

Operation Gratitude Wish List

To make giving as simple as possible, we  have a “Wish List” on! Socks, paperback books, different types of individually-packaged, travel-size hygiene items, 550 lb. paracord, sunscreen wipes, DVD movies, Beanie Babies, and MORE all made the list.

What’s great about “Wish List”is that our supporters can easily see what we need for our care packages and place an order online without having to deal with the hassle of boxing up and shipping the items to us — and the various vendors take care of all that, and many of the items qualify forFREE shipping!

An added bonus — when you choose to support…

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Congratulations to a GREAT Group!!

Operation Gratitude Blog

CelebrationWhat a GREAT day!  On Saturday, December 15, more than 2,000 Operation Gratitude Volunteers joined to celebrate two special events: The assembly and shipment of our 900,000th Care Package and the presentation of the custom built Orange County Chopper to the recipient of the800,000th Care Package.

Surrounded by family memJoe and Erikbers, cheering volunteers, and celebrity guests Urijah Faber2Faber (“The California Kid”-UFC), Joe Mantegna (Criminal Minds), Erik Jon & SamuelEstrada (“Ponch” from CHiPs), and Jon Cryer (Two and a Half Men),  a California National Guard Soldier accepted the motorcycle he first learned about in August when he received the Milestone package while deployed.

Spc. Samuel Mancilla, a motor transport operator sam 1assigned to the 1072nd Transportation Company, 378th CSSB, 10th Sustainment Brigade, who recently returned from Afghanistan, was visibly moved by the outpouring of respect and appreciation, and was thrilled to become the owner of the Chopper commissioned and…

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