071: Sending Care Packages to Our Active Service Men Overseas — Operation Gratitude with Joanne Coller

War can be a dark place, but you can make it a little bit brighter by sending a care package.

Joanne Coller has been a volunteer at Operation Gratitude since 2004, but the organization itself was founded by Carolyn Blashek in 2003 when Carolyn spoke to a soldier who had nothing to come home to. Today, Operation Gratitude sends over 200,000 care packages to veterans, first responders, service members deployed, and more. The organization aims to show these heros that there is someone out there who cares.

Key Takeaways:

[4:50] How did Joanne get started in charity work?

[6:30] Joanne has been volunteering at Operation Gratitude since 2004.

[7:05] How did Operation Gratitude get started?

[10:05] How many packages does Operation Gratitude send out to veterans and first responders?

[16:25] Jessica, the Development and Communications Coordinator at Operation Gratitude, jumps into the call and shares a little bit more about what the organization does.

[21:25] First responders never hear a ‘thank you’ from the people they serve. It’s just not built into the jobs. They save lives and then leave.

[26:05] This place is magical. Volunteers always come back with friends and family members who want to help too.

[26:45] Even children are eager to volunteer.

[31:15] Joanne and her team were able to finish 500 packages in 55 minutes.

[35:35] When they pack a care package, a lot of times volunteers don’t know what that care package will mean to the person who receives it, but it can be life-changing.

[39:25] You can request a care package on their website and send it to someone in the military.

[39:40] You can even request a care package for the entire military unit;  that way, no one gets left out.

[42:55] Some of the soldiers receive children’s toys, which they then give to the local children in the war-torn area.

[47:50] There are so many different ways you can be a part of Operation Gratitude.

[51:10] Special shoutout to Jersey Mike’s for donating to Operation Gratitude.

Mentioned in This Episode:

Operation Gratitude


Jersey Mikes Subs

Giving Back Podcast

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