operation gratitude soldiers with boxes

Operation Gratitude | How to Honor Soldiers Today

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Operation Gratitude is a great way to make a difference in the lives of our military and their family members! This organization also supports veterans and first responders – often our overlooked heroes or soldiers in the front lines! 

Let’s answer a few questions.

Do you feel a strong desire to minister to soldiers and unsung heroes but are unsure how to reach out to them? Do you want to thank them for everything they do but do not know how? 

As military personnel continually step up for our freedoms, you may be wondering how you can get involved. Guess what? Operation Gratitude may be the answer!!

A moment of silence on Memorial Day or Veterans Day is kind, but it is not enough! Consider the ultimate sacrifice they are making with their lives, and think about checking out Operation Gratitude today!

Whether stationed within the United States or overseas, Operation Gratitude can assist in blessing a soldier in any branch of the military. 

This worthy cause offers various ways to aid from monetary donations, supplying care packages, setting up campaigns, and virtual volunteering

There is sure to be an ideal way for you to get involved!

How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you? – 1 Thessalonians 3:9 (NIV)

Related: Military Care Packages: A Unique Way to Show Support

What is Operation Gratitude?

operation gratitude boxes

Operation Gratitude is one of the largest and most impactful nonprofit organizations in the United States for hands-on volunteerism supporting the military, first responders, and veterans. 

This organization honors the lives of men and women who have served in the military or are considered to be first responders!

That’s not all; they also help recruit graduates, military families, wounded warriors, and more

Operation Gratitude has helped provide support to over 3.3 million soldiers worldwide! 

In 2020, they impacted the lives of over 600,000 heroes! This year, they have already reached over 300,000 military service members, veterans, and first responders! Not only that, but they work around the clock to thank all who serve our country!

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Who Does Operation Gratitude Help?

operation gratitude truck

Operation Gratitude serves the military, veterans, and first responders. However, they do not just help those wonderful groups. They also help the following groups of individuals.

  • Deployed Troops
  • Recruit Graduates
  • Wounded Heroes & Caregivers
  • Military Families

Learn more about the Americans that they help on the Who We Serve page of their website. Read success stories and how Operation Gratitude has touched the lives of so many (over 3 million)! They’ve helped these groups in unique and special ways!!

Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. – 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV)

Related: How to Write a Soldier a Letter of Encouragement

Why Get Involved with Operation Gratitude?

#1. Impact the lives of those who need support!

We struggle to imagine the extreme circumstances that soldiers and first responders find themselves in. It’s a calling to be able to put your life on the line for others.

Their lives are often impacted beyond the daily struggles we face, such as bad traffic or cold coffee. Their lives are impacted and changed in different ways and so are the lives of the family and friends closest to them.

Whether they have been physically, emotionally, or mentally changed by their service, your involvement in the things Operation Gratitude is doing can make life better for them during and after their service for our country. 

#2. Boost the morale of those who may be feeling down.

It can be mentally, emotionally, and spiritually draining to be away from loved ones. Whether in training or stationed overseas, your involvement with Operation Gratitude may be just the thing a soldier needed that day.

You can send letters of appreciation or packages of needed items at any time because a soldier somewhere is waiting for something to lift their spirits and turn their day around!

#3. Show appreciation.

Operation Gratitude National Guard troops receiving bags

We need military personnel and first responders to maintain the lifestyle we love so much in America! Freedom isn’t brought to us at zero cost!

Soldiers, local veterans, and first responders need to know that what they are doing matters

The people they’ve sworn to protect need to show them their service does make a difference

By showing our appreciation, we continue the cycle of true patriotism and allow the freedoms we experience to blossom.

Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. – 2 Timothy 2:3 (NIV)

#4. Veterans are often overlooked

Operation Gratitude is amazing in that they support current military and first responders; plus, they actively pay tribute to veterans.

A 2018 study showed that nearly 9% of all homeless people in America are veterans. 

Further studies show that 20% of veterans that served in Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from PTSD or depression. This directly affects the higher percentages seen in substance abuse among veterans.

Veterans struggle with unemployment as well as disabilities due to injury in service. 

Operation Gratitude is reaching out to those who need it most!

He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets prisoners free. – Psalm 46:7 (NIV)

What’s the Latest News for Operation Gratitude?

There are many ways to get involved each month and plenty of challenges to keep you motivated to work with Operation Gratitude – from Halloween candy drives to digital letter-writing campaigns! You’ll never get bored if you get involved with this charity!

September 2021 marks the 20th anniversary of the tragic events that occurred on 9/11. Now is a great time to get involved in a charity like this to show your support and gratitude for the many members of our military and first responders and what they have done for our country! 

operation gratitude knitted dolls

Also, in September, there is a challenge for knitters and crocheters to create as many hats and scarves as they can during the month to donate to Operation Gratitude. If you love knitting or crocheting, this challenge is perfect for you!

Related: Knitting Hats for Charity with Free Patterns

With Halloween just around the corner, remember there is a place for your leftover candy that won’t tempt you! Operation Gratitude collects unused candy to be distributed among deployed troops, local military units, veterans, and first responders!

In August of 2021, a group of young volunteers spent a total of 88 hours creating 438 homemade letters and cards for Operation Gratitude! 

What an amazing accomplishment in showing gratitude to our military!

How to Help Soldiers with Operation Gratitude

Send a Care Package

operation gratitude care package

According to direct contact with their VP of Marketing and Communications, Operation Gratitude sends over 2,000 packages to deployed troops in a single day! 

Operation Gratitude sent 20,000 care packages to active military members, 50,000 to veterans, and 50,000 to first responders in just a few months! They expect to send many more in the coming months!

Send a military care package for only $15 using Operation Gratitude! 

Related: How to Send a Care Package: Your Complete Guide

Donate to Operation Gratitude

Care packages are just one of the ways Operation Gratitude is supporting the troops! Another great way to sponsor this initiative is to create a fundraiser

Dedicate your next birthday, marathon run, or family event to Operation Gratitude! 

The most common way to get involved with Operation Gratitude is through donations. You can send 3 care packages for a gift of $45, or you can choose your own amount to give.

They also have options to give through your IRA, stock dividends, or even through your will

You can also work through their virtual volunteerism campaign to donate items. Currently, Operation Gratitude has a variety of items that you can sew, knit, or crochet for soldiers if you are talented in that area!

operation gratitude donation

They also have a campaign for paracord bracelets that the soldiers and first responders can wear. 

Operation Gratitude has a campaign for recycled phones as well. You can ship your phone through Smartphone Recycling for free, and all proceeds go to Operation Gratitude.

Another great way to donate is through Vehicles for Veterans. In partnership with Operation Gratitude, vehicles can be donated to assist in aiding disabled veterans – those who are struggling to get back on their feet. 

Host a Collection Drive

You can get involved by hosting a collection drive for Operation Gratitude. 

As a collection drive volunteer, you will be provided full support through Operation Gratitude. You determine a date, time, and location then spread the word via social media and local ads.

Community members can then assist in donating a variety of items from Operation Gratitude’s wish list

All of these items aid in creating the amazing care packages sent to soldiers!

Unique Ways to Get Involved

You can aid this charity through your everyday online shopping. Every time you shop online on Amazon, you can use Amazon Smile. They will then donate .05% of your purchase to Operation Gratitude. That may not seem like much, but every penny counts!

operation gratitude assembly of boxes

Soldiers love getting mail and hearing from the people they have sworn to protect. You can contribute by writing letters to the soldiers that are then included in the care packages.

Beanie babies are also on the list of needed items. These plush toys are sent to the soldiers as entertainment and are also used to be given to children affected in war zone areas!

Operation Gratitude has also partnered with Oscar Mike for the R.E.D t-shirt. This unique t-shirt not only shows your support but gives back financially with each purchase. Other shirts include images of the American flag and show support for fallen soldiers.

There are plenty of ways to get involved and show your appreciation! You can find the ideal way to volunteer today.

Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. – 2 Corinthians 9:7

Related: Your Complete Guide to Military Care Packages

Other Charities that Honor the Military

#1. Soldiers’ Angels

With the mission of providing aid to the military and veterans, you can’t go wrong with Soldiers’ Angels. They accept letters, monetary donations, vehicles, and other non-cash donations. Soldiers’ Angels also has plenty of ways to volunteer and make a difference in-person or as a virtual volunteer!

#2. Operation Military Matters

Operation Military Matters was birthed out of a school project for a gifted student – Graci Tubbs! They currently have sent more than 150,000 care packages around the world! Easily get involved today to help this worthy cause!

#3. Heartillery Group

Heartillery Group is another great charity working to help the military and veterans across the globe. You can get involved by sending cards, care packages, monetary donations, or volunteering. They’ve sent over five million cards to military members since they began in 2013!

#4. Operation Paperback

Since 1999, Operation Paperback has sent approximately three million paperback books to military personnel worldwide! That’s pretty impressive! Consider sending a soldier a paperback book today!

#5. Forgotten Soldiers Outreach

The mission at Forgotten Soldiers Outreach is to make sure no soldier feels forgotten and to support them. You can get involved by writing letters, sending donations, or helping with care packages. Learn more on their website!

Related: How to Start Writing to Soldiers

More Ways to Get Involved in Changing Lives

Getting involved in charities is so much fun! You can make a difference in the lives of all kinds of people, animals, or the world! Here are a few charities you might want to get involved in.

The Snuggles Project helps animals at shelters stay warm with homemade blankets.

Threads of Love helps sick infants and their families cope during a difficult time.

Tender Loving Cats helps homeless cats and kittens find homes in New York.

Related: Find the Right Volunteer Opportunity

Conclusion

If you haven’t yet shown your appreciation for our military and first responders, what are you waiting for?

operation gratitude thank you from troops

You should now understand what Operation Gratitude is and the great work they are doing for military members, first responders, and veterans. Hopefully, you are ready to get involved in this great charity and make a difference!

Do YOU know of a great charity that honors fallen heroes? What charity or worthy cause is weighing heavily on your heart and mind? Feel free to contact us or leave a comment about what you would love us to cover!

One of the best ways you can support Operation Gratitude is to share this amazing charity with others! Share this post with your friends and family!

Make sure to stop over at our Shop or Free Resources for more valuable information and freebies! There are free random acts of kindness calendars and prayer journals – to name a few!

Grab a free Volunteer Log in our Shop!