1. The first organization is 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 hostile regions, to their children left behind and to Veterans, First Responders, Wounded Warriors and their Care Givers. Their 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 915,000 packages to American Military members.
How you can help...We would like to send both letters and care package items to our U.S. Service Members. Below are some guidelines for writing a letter, and their wish list of care package items. We also have copies of the wish list at the gym, and we will have a box, where letters and items can be dropped off.
We will need a quick turn around with these donations. In order for the care package to reach California and then be shipped to service members in time for the holidays, we are asking that all donations be dropped off no later than, Monday, December 2nd. As always we thank you in advance for your generosity.
Wish List Items:
Knit Hats, Scarves, Neck Gators (see directions links below or here: Scarves)
Yarn for our knitters to make scarves
Paracord Survival Bracelets (see more info here: Bracelets )
Beanie Babies, Webkinz or other Small Plush Toys (6 inches or smaller)
Socks (preferably black, brown, green, tan; not white)
iPods, DVDs and CDs, Video Games, Computer Flash Drives,
Headsets (earpiece and microphone) and WebCams
Energy Bars, Beef Jerky, Healthy Snacks
Commercially sealed Lip Balm, toothpaste, toothbrushes, roll-on deodorant
Individually packaged razors
Travel-Size Board Games, Handheld electronic games
Comic Books in perfect condition
Bandana Coolers/Cool-Ties*, Mini-Battery-operated Fans
Hand and Foot Warmers
Single Serving Boxes of Cold Cereal; Individual Packets of Hot Cereal
Commercially wrapped individual packets of Trail Mix, Nuts, Energy Bars, Sunflower Seeds, Candy
Ready To Eat Tuna or Chicken Salad kits
Boxes of Girl Scout Cookies
Packets of Powdered Hot or Cold Beverages
Individual packets of moist towelettes
Travel Size containers of Foot Powder
Screen Printed T-Shirts, Baseball Style Caps, Gloves
Holiday and General Occasion Greeting Cards (blank)
Unsealed personal cards and letters
Used Cell Phones, Video Games and Systems, iPods, PDAs, Ink-jet Cartridges
2. The second organization is Unity House in Troy. We have adopted a family of six children. Attached below is a wish list for the six children. This list provides the names, ages/sizes of the children. With the help of a teacher at their Unity Sunshine Program, the children have listed 2 wants and 2 needs. The gifts do not have to be wrapped, however if you wish to wrap the gifts they ask that you please place a gift tag with child’s name on gift. We will have the child's name with a wish list item hanging on our tree at the gym this week. If you wish to participate, simply take one ornament with an item listed from the tree, and drop it off to us no later than Wednesday, December 11th.
We hope to make this a huge success! Thank you all, for your help and support!