Send a care package for $15

Our mission is strong. It is strong because you honor the Military each day when you assemble packages, hand-make scarves and bracelets, organize collection drives and write letters from home.

Our mission is important. It is important because-- together--we show our Troops that we remember and appreciate them.

Our dedicated supporters, including YOU, have made a tremendous impact on the morale of our service members over the past 12 years.  Since March 2003, we have sent 1,155,198 Operation Gratitude Care Packages, touching countless lives.

However, the need is still great.  Why?

Because there are more than 150,000 American service members deployed far from home and loved ones, most in harm's way.

Because we are still sending packages to Iraq and Afghanistan.  We are sending to Liberia.  We are sending to Korea.  We are sending to ships throughout international waters.  Plus, we are sending packages to tens of thousands of Veterans and New Recruits here at home.

All of our heroes need a reminder that the American people are thinking of them and appreciate their service.

Whether you knit a warm scarf, write a letter, donate care package items, give $15 to send one package, $45 to send three packages, or send a package every month of the year for $180, we need your help.

As we begin to celebrate the holiday season, I hope you will take this opportunity to visit and support our continuing mission to serve those who serve.

Thank you for your ongoing support of our brave men and women in uniform.


Carolyn Blashek
Founder, Operation Gratitude

Here's How YOU Can Help

On Monday morning of this week, I received this picture and note from one of our troops overseas:

"I greatly appreciate this package, because it comes from the hearts of many amazing people out there. Thank you so much!"

As world events have put the U.S. Military on high alert, so too has Operation Gratitude been impacted by the growing threats worldwide.  Here is an update on requests to send Operation Gratitude Care Packages to our Troops overseas and to our New Recruits and Veterans here at home.

On August 23rd, our volunteers in Southern California assembled 7,062 packages that were immediately shipped to troops deployed in harm's way.  Then on September 3rd, we received an urgent request to send an additional 2,200 packages as soon as possible.  Our volunteers reacted within 48 hours and made packages for each and every hero.

This Saturday, September 20th, we have requests to send an additional 7,000 packages overseas.  Hundreds of local supporters have registered to volunteer to make sure that we fulfill every request.

This means that in a span of just 30 days, our volunteers will have assembled and shipped more than 16,000 Care Packages!  

Your generosity and support have helped us fulfill every care package request ever made since Operation Gratitude started in 2003: More than 1.1 Million Care Packages sent!  

Even if you are not available to volunteer at the National Guard Armory this Saturday, here are several very important ways that you can participate from anywhere in the country to ensure that we can send tens of thousands of additional packages by year-end.  

You can:

However you choose to serve, I am forever appreciative of your kindness.  Thank you for believing in our cause and for continuing to support our troops!


Carolyn Blashek, Founder

American Veterans Traveling Tribute (AVTT) and Sands Resorts Donate TWO HARLEY DAVIDSON SPORTSTERS

Operation Gratitude Sends TWIN Milestone 500,000th Packages

Van Nuys, CA - December 21, 2009 - With the classic roar of freedom catching their attention, more than 1500 Operation Gratitude volunteers witnessed the presentation of the organization's historic 500,000th Care Package, as a parade of motorcycles rode onto the Armory Drill floor delivering the keys to TWO Harley Davidson Sportsters.  The keys, along with several other unique gifts, were added to Operation Gratitude care packages, to be presented to two U.S. Service Members serving in the harshest combat zones overseas.

Co-founders Carolyn Blashek and SSG Elizabeth Cowie, who started the organization in 2003, thanked AVTT and Sands Resorts for their generous donation of the Sportsters, and recognized the tens of thousands of volunteers, donors and supporters who have contributed throughout the years to the assembly and shipment of half a million care packages.

"The 500,000 care packages we have sent are an expression of our enormous respect and appreciation for those who voluntarily put themselves in harm's way to protect our freedom," exclaimed Blashek.  "How totally appropriate that today we are sending a classic American symbol of freedom--Harley Davidson Motorcycles--to two of our bravest warriors, both of whom have served multiple tours of combat duty."

"AVTT's mission is to honor, respect and remember those who served and thus those who are serving," said Don Allen, founder of AVTT, donor of one of the Bikes.  "The occasion of Operation Gratitude's 500,000th Care Package is a perfect opportunity to ensure that our message of support and gratitude is seen and heard by our Military around the world."

Lee Rawcliffe, President and CEO of Sands Resorts, and donor of the second Sportster noted:  "This exciting 500,000th package event represents a celebration of all the brave Americans who wear the uniform of our great nation.  We are honored to put 2 very special packages in the hands of two different service members who represent our courageous heroes-- past, present and future--from all branches of the Military."

In addition to the Sportsters, the twin 500,000th packages will include a year's supply of both 5 Hour Energy and Emergen-C. hand-made scarves, digital cameras from Target, t-shirts, hats, dvds and pins from the Shasta Salute to America Bike Rally, the usual items and personal letters provided by more than 250 Corporate Sponsors and Friends, and by tens of thousands of individual donors across the country.  Days of Our Lives Cast Members Jay Kenneth Johnson, Joseph Mascola and Taylor Spreitler presented a Certificate for two VIP Set Tours.

Special deliveries of the matching Half Millionth Packages are being arranged.

A 4th Grade student from North Carolina, the winner of the "Guess the Candy Weight and Letter Writing Contest,"  was announced, having guessed within a few pounds the total weight of candy donated to Operation Gratitude this Holiday Drive:  110,000 pounds.

Blashek and Cowie informed the energetic crowd that the 500,000th package represented:

~ 4 Million pounds of product
~ $5.5 Million of postage
~ 25 Million individual items
~ $50 Million worth of product

sent to the troops through Operation Gratitude since its inception in 2003.

With the shipment of its 500,000th package, Operation Gratitude wrapped up its 2009 Holiday Drive, having delivered more than 100,000 care packages to U.S. Service Members this year.

About Operation Gratitude:

Operation Gratitude ( ) is the 501 (c) (3) non-profit, volunteer organization that annually sends 100,000+ care packages filled with snacks, entertainment items and personal letters of appreciation addressed to individual U.S. Service Members deployed in hostile regions.  Our mission is to lift morale, bring a smile to a service member's face and express to all Armed Forces the appreciation and support of the American people. Each package contains donated product valued at ~$100 and costs the organization $11 to assemble and ship.

About American Veterans Traveling Tribute ("AVTT"):

AVTT ( is a veteran-owned project that travels the USA to provide a forum for communities to HONOR-RESPECT-REMEMBER all who have sacrificed their lives for our country's freedom. In so doing, AVTT also honors all Veterans and those currently serving, by letting them know they will never be forgotten. AVTT is funded through sponsorship fees, donations, and sale of merchandise at events. Donations to support AVTT's mission are qualified charitable tax deductions through The Traveling Wall Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization.

About Sands Resorts

Sands Resorts ( has been the leading provider of Myrtle Beach vacations for over 35 years. Established in 1972, Sands now includes seven major oceanfront resorts, restaurants, a water park,  the nationally known beach bar Ocean Annie's, and vacations featuring golf and theater packages, children's programs, and convention accommodations. Sands Resorts new "Hall of Heroes," honoring our military, police and firefighters who throughout history have protected our freedom, is open free of charge, Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the first floor of The Rawcliffe Center at Ocean Dunes/Sand Dunes Resort & Villas.

Operation Gratitude
Carolyn Blashek
818.789.0123; cell: 310.876.2594



Van Nuys, CA - May 20, 2009 - On Saturday and Sunday of Memorial Weekend, May 23-24, 2009, hundreds of dedicated Operation Gratitude Volunteers will assemble and ship 20,000 Care Packages to U.S. Military personnel deployed in Afghanistan, Iraq and on ships at sea, during the signature weekend of the organization's 2009 Patriotic Drive.  Additional assembly days will take place during the weekend of June 13-14 to complete the goal of shipping 40,000 Patriotic Packages this season.

In addition to the Assembly Line activity, the formal program on Saturday May 23 will include an emotional Ceremony presenting Official Commendations from the U.S. Army to all Operation Gratitude Volunteer Supervisors.  The Ceremony will begin at 11:30 a.m.  Media are invited to attend.
In further celebration of "Military Appreciation Month" and the upcoming July 4th Holiday, and to increase awareness and funding for Operation Gratitude's care package program, the non-profit organization is participating in two major Patriotic initiatives through partnerships with generous Corporate Sponsors.

Embracing the patriotic theme of "Voting," Operation Gratitude is one of 10 charities selected by Target to receive a portion of $3 Million based on a percentage of votes received in its online "Bullseye Gives" contest hosted by the social-networking giant, Facebook.  

Helping Americans express their Patriotic pride, Operation Gratitude and CafePress released this month two unique, special designs for T-shirts and Tank-tops that highlight traditional emblems of freedom: the Stars and Stripes and fireworks.  Cafe Press is donating ten percent (10%) of the proceeds from the sales of these items to benefit Operation Gratitude's care package efforts. The shirts will be on display at the Armory on May 23rd and are available for purchase online.

Operation Gratitude will send its 450,000th care package during this Memorial Weekend.
Financial Donations and Personal Letters for the packages should be mailed to:
Operation Gratitude
16444 Refugio Road
Encino, CA 91436
About Operation Gratitude
Operation Gratitude (www.operationgratitude.comis the 501 (c) (3) non-profit, volunteer organization that annually sends 100,000+ care packages of items and letters addressed to individually named U.S. Service Members deployed in hostile overseas regions.  Its mission is to lift morale, bring a smile to a service member's face and to express to our Armed Forces the appreciation and support of the American people. Each package contains donated product valued at ~$100 and costs the organization $11 to assemble and ship. Since its inception in March, 2003, Operation Gratitude has shipped more than 430,000 packages to American military deployed overseas.