Operation Gratitude Scheduling a “Labeling Day” February 11

From our friends at Operation Gratitude –

Operation Gratitude, Carolyn Blashek, care packages for the military, helping the military, sending things to soldiers, Sandra Beck, Tina Gonzales, Robin Boyd, Military Mom Talk Radio

Dear Volunteers,

WOW!! You assembled and shipped more than 45,000 Holiday care packages (including our 600,000th package), and assembled an additional 6,000+ packages which we will send out over the next three months as we receive requests. This was an enormously successful Holiday Drive!! My deepest thanks to each of you for your time, efforts and dedication.

I also want to add my gratitude to our Catering Supervisor, Marsha Roseman, her terrific team of kitchen volunteers, and our very generous Lunch Sponsors who kindly prepare and serve lunch to all of us on Assembly Days. I have listed and linked the Lunch Donors below and hope you will have the opportunity to express your appreciation to them.

We have set the dates for the 2011 Patriotic Drive–I have included the schedule below. Please mark your calendars now!! We will post the 2011 Holiday Drive Schedule in the Spring.

Always check emails, Twitter and our website for schedule change notifications!

We have a “Labeling Day” scheduled to label and custom form completed care packages:
Friday February 11, 2010 from 9-2
Please join us for any time you are available that day.

As in the past, we welcome children ages 12 and older to all activities at the Armory; those ages 12-16 must have a responsible adult with transportation on the premises. Due to insurance, liability and safety concerns, we must strictly adhere to these rules–there will be NO EXCEPTIONS. Younger children are encouraged to write letters and organize recycling drives from home.

Every Assembly Day, you hear me praise and thank our wonderful team of “Supervisors”, those “Hard Corps Volunteers in the Royal Blue Shirts,” who accept responsibility for specific areas of our operation. As Operation Gratitude continues to grow, we need and welcome more Supervisors! If you are interested and available, especially during the week, please email or call our Director of Operations, Charlie Othold: or 818-437-6201.

We have a special team of volunteers dedicated to reading and screening the personal letters submitted for the care packages. This is a critical task that requires careful attention, concentration and adherence to our strict content guidelines. If you are willing to read letters at home and/or at the armory, please contact Linda Barber at: or 818-996-3158. We have a mandatory meeting for all screeners at the Armory on February 11 (same day as labeling) at 12:00 Noon.

The Castaic Lake/Los Angeles Merrell Down & Dirty Mud Run will take place the night of Saturday April 16 (first ever Night Run) and the morning of Sunday April 17. We’d like a huge turn-out of “our family” to participate, volunteer and/or spectate this year. Stay tuned for exciting information about “Team Operation Gratitude!”

Again, many thanks for your phenomenal efforts in support of our troops. You truly made a difference in their lives during the Holiday season, as evidenced by the thousands of emails and letters we have received from our service members. Regularly check our Facebook Page and/or the Mail Call section of our site to read their very touching words and visit the Packages Arrive Photo Album to see their pictures and smiles. If you missed the news about the delivery of our 600,000th Care Package by the Commandant of the Marine Corps, click here: Special Delivery

All my best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year to you and your loved ones! I look forward to working with you this year.

Carolyn Blashek, president of Operation Gratitude

Many Thanks to Our Wonderful Lunch Sponsors:
Lancaster Rotary
Buca di Beppo
Jewel City Kiwanis Club
Maria’s Italian KItchen