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#BrownGirlsGive: Operation Gratitude

Saturday, January 05, 2013

In spite of how easy it is to complain about what isn't right in our lives, I think most of us have quite a bit to be grateful for, don't you?  I mean, sure, we could all complain about higher taxes, not never having enough money, and then cry over spilled milk, but if you have good health, a loving family and a roof over your head with food to eat, then hey *shrug* life can't be all that bad, now can it?  #countyourblessings

Today I would like to announce #BrownGirlsGive's Quarter One giving initiative of 2013; one that forces us all to step out of our own designer shoes for a moment or two into the shoes of the folks that put us all in a position to sit here in relative peace to both read and (for me) to write this post. It might sound a bit simplistic, but it's true: The service men and women in United States military service both past and present have fought and served our country to keep us safe and for that I believe we owe them (and their families) a little lot of gratitude.

From now through the end of March, I would like to invite #BrownGirlsGive advocates to participate in a letter writing campaign via Operation Gratitude, a non-profit that 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 Wounded Warriors, Veterans and First Responders. [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. 

Photo Credit: Operation Gratitude

Operation Gratitude says the following:  Our troops tell us the most cherished items in the packages are the personal letters of appreciation from Americans. We welcome as many letters as you can provide. We accept letters year-round.   It will only take 5 minutes out of your day to write a letter, but it will bring joy to our troops that will last a lifetime.  Are you in?


1.  Write a letter of gratitude and thanks.  Keep your message upbeat and positive.  Be thankful – share a little bit of yourself.  Ask questions; however, do not discuss death or killing.  Avoid politics completely and religion in excess. It is all about appreciation and respect.  Ask yourself: Will this letter bring a smile to someone's face?

Photo Credit: Operation Gratitude
Additional Guidelines
  • Sample salutations: Dear Hero, Dear Brave One
  • Include your own mail or email so recipients can choose to reply (optional)
  • Handwritten letters or cards are most appreciated. Typed letters are simply not as personal.
  • No glitter please.
  • All letters will be screened – please do not seal individual envelopes.
  • You can ask others to engage (including your children!).
  • If you do not receive a reply from a Service Member, do not be discouraged. Remember: Our troops are busy!
Wounded Warriors Program:  Operation Gratitude also sends special packages to Wounded service members who are recovering in Military hospitals and/or Wounded Warrior Transition Units. If you would like to send letters specifically for wounded heroes, you can do that too.  Please send them in a separate envelope marked: Wounded Warriors.

Photo Credit: Operation Gratitude
2.  Mail your hand-written letters by no later than March 30, 2013 (although earlier is always better) to:

Tracey Friley
386 17th Street
Oakland CA 94612

All letters will be opened, assembled and then sent in one box by April 15, 2013.  Sorry, but those that do not meet the guidelines above will not be sent.

I hope you'll join us.  You can see how much the letters mean to our troops by clicking here.

With gratitude,

About #BrownGirlsGive:  
Started in August 2012 with an online shoe drive that yielded over 200 pairs of shoes in its first effort,  #BrownGirlsGive is an online giving collective that features one new cause every quarter and encourages group giving by asking advocates to donate goods or services.  Why?  Because small gestures can often make a really big impact.  



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