Nonprofit Spreads Kindness and Gratitude During COVID-19 Pandemic
[July 31, 2020: Globe Newswire]
With the recent delivery of 15,000 Care Packages to deployed service members, Operation Gratitude has impacted more than 300,000 Frontline Responders across the country and around the world since the onset of COVID-19. When the pandemic hit, the national nonprofit organization, known for delivering more than 2.8 million individual care packages since 2003, pivoted to send bulk shipments of “jumbo care packages” filled with handwritten letters of appreciation, Starbucks Coffee, Mars Wrigley candy, Liquid I.V. hydration drinks, and other snack, hygiene, and comfort items to hundreds of hospitals and medical clinics, police and fire departments, National Guard units nationwide; and deployed troops overseas.
“With the kindness and generosity of hundreds of thousands of grateful Americans who donated their time, treasure and talent, as well as the extraordinary support of companies like CSX, Liquid IV, Mars Wrigley, Prudential Financial, Veterans United Home Loans, LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, Starbucks, and The Starbucks Foundation, this was made possible,” said the CEO of Operation Gratitude, retired Marine Lieutenant Colonel Kevin Schmiegel.
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Together these military and service-friendly companies formed the National Coalition to Support COVID-19 Frontline Responders and with Operation Gratitude delivered more than 3.5 million individual items to include:
100,000 lbs of Starbucks coffee, which equates to 4.85 million cups of brewed coffee!
518,214 individual servings of Liquid IV hydration
1.3 million sweet treats, including 138,971 Snickers bars and 99,482 boxes of Girl Scout cookies
597,086 snacks, including 39,492 bags of Combos and 140,116 Jack Links Jerky sticks
21,707 of employees from the Coalition who volunteered in a hands-on way
We are committed to supporting those on the front lines who are keeping our communities safe during this crisis,” said Virginia Tenpenny, vice president of global social impact at Starbucks. “We are proud to join Operation Gratitude in this global effort to show our deep appreciation for our front-line responders’ service and sacrifice.”
When California announced its "stay at home" order on March 19, Operation Gratitude's small but mighty team coordinated one of the largest direct support operations in the country for COVID-19 frontline responders. The call to action for virtual volunteerism provided tangible ways for individuals and families to find a sense of purpose and deal with the tremendous anxiety and uncertainty associated with the pandemic. Across the nation, thousands of grateful citizens joined forces virtually to make a difference by hand-writing letters of appreciation, crafting paracord bracelets, and knitting, crocheting, or sewing Handmade with Love items for the brave men and women in harm’s way. Together, hundreds of thousands of volunteers have worked tirelessly at home to support Frontline Responders and deployed troops. In 2020 alone they have:
Written 148,956 letters of gratitude for Frontline Responders
Made 64,686 paracord survival bracelets to be distributed to Troops and First Responders
Hand-knit and crocheted 28,290 Handmade with Love items - every single stitch is made with love for those who serve our nation
Operation Gratitude will continue to demonstrate that actions speak louder than words, supporting Military, First Responders, and Healthcare workers through the COVID-19 Coalition, Virtual Volunteerism, and Care Package deliveries.
Operation Gratitude is the largest nonprofit in the United States for hands-on volunteerism in support of the Military, Veteran, and First Responder communities. Since 2003, the organization has delivered more than 2.8 Million Care Packages and has provided countless opportunities for all Americans to say "Thank You" to those who serve. Through volunteer events, acts of gratitude, and meaningful engagements in communities nationwide, Operation Gratitude uniquely builds bridges and forges strong bonds between grateful citizens and their military and first responder heroes. For more information visit OperationGratitude.com, or follow us on Twitter at @OpGratitude.