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.

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