Van Nuys, CA -- Operation Gratitude, the non-profit, volunteer-based Military and Veteran support organization, will have dual cause for celebration when the Milestone 900,000th Care Package rolls off the assembly line, and the special gift from the 800,000th Care Package (sent in June, 2012) is delivered to a returning Soldier on Saturday, December 15, 2012 at the National Guard Armory in Van Nuys, CA.
Hundreds of volunteers will be joined by members of the Military, politicians, notable personalities, Motorcycle enthusiasts and representatives from several of the organization's Corporate Friends and Sponsors, to assemble care packages and to honor 800,000th Care Package recipient Spc. Samuel Mancilla, recently returned from Afghanistan, as he receives his custom-built Orange County Choppers' motorcycle donated in partnership with SJO Foundation for Hope and Torque Sports & Performance.
Operation Gratitude Director of Operations, Rich Hernandez, expects the "milestone moment" to happen shortly after 11 am.
The Doubleheader Celebration wraps up the organization's Deployed Troop Care Package assembly for the year, having made and shipped more than 100,000 Troop, Veteran, Family and Battalion Buddy Care Packages in just six months, since June 2012. Operation Gratitude volunteers will continue to assemble Veteran, Battalion Buddy and their new "Care Giver" packages on weekdays through the end of the year (see Volunteer Schedule for hours).
December 15, 2012
Care Package Assembly 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Milestone Assembly & Celebration: 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
California National Guard Armory
17330 Victory Boulevard
Van Nuys, CA 91406
Corner of Victory and Louise; parking available in adjacent lot
Pink's Hotdogs will be selling lunch on site for all volunteers and guests.
Financial donations are still needed to help pay the assembly and postage expenses of $15 per package.
Every tax deductible donation of $15 sends another care package, personally addressed to American heroes in harm's way, their children anxiously waiting at home, and to Veterans, First Responders, Wounded Warriors and their Care Givers.
Online donations can be made here: Donate .
Donations by check can be made payable and mailed to:
16444 Refugio Road
Encino, CA 91436
About Operation Gratitude: Operation Gratitude annually sends 100,000+ care packages filled with snacks, entertainment items and personal letters of appreciation addressed to individually named U.S. Service Members deployed in harm's way, to their children left behind, to Veterans, to Military families in financial distress due to unemployment, to Emergency First Responders and to Wounded Warriors recuperating in transition units. The organization's mission is to lift morale, bring a smile to a service member's face and express to our Armed Forces the appreciation and support of the American people. Each package contains donated product valued at ~$75-100 and costs the organization $15 to assemble and ship. For safety and security, assembling of packages occurs at the Army National Guard armory in Van Nuys, California. Since its inception in 2003, Operation Gratitude volunteers have shipped more than 890,000 packages to American Military members and their children.