Operation Gratitude

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Operation Gratitude sends 100,000+ care packages each year to U.S. Service Members deployed in hostile regions, their children left behind, veterans, first responders, wounded warriors and their care givers.  Packages are individually addressed and filled with snacks,letters of appreciation, personal and entertainment items.

Packages are  assembled at the Army National Guard Armory in Van Nuys, California for safety and security. Since its inception in 2003, Operation Gratitude has shipped more than 915,000 packages.

In February, Be A Light volunteers spent the morning assisting Operation Gratitude with “Prep” and “Assembly Day” tasks.

Prep” work includes sorting donated items, folding shirts, screening letters, and otherwise preparing the products for Assembly Days. In addition, if time allows,  instructions and materials are provided  for making Paracord Survival Bracelets.

Assembly Day” work includes production of the care packages, labeling, taping, letter reading and writing, running packages, re-stocking the lines and breaking down cartons.

Check us out in action below.

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Hosting “Meals of Love” at Los Angeles Ronald McDonald House

If you follow my personal Twitter and/or Instagram accounts you know that i’m on the Circuit Board of Echoes of Hope’s “Be A Light” program. The program provides Echoes of Hope youth and volunteers with opportunities to actively give back throughout the community. The Circuit Board is responsible for spearheading the Be A Light projects.

Sunday, Nov. 18, we hosted “Meals of Love” at Los Angeles Ronald McDonald House (LARMH), through its Happy Meals program. By preparing and serving dinner to families, who spend all day at the hospital, we allowed parents much needed time to relax and enjoy a meal—without dishes to clean.

After serving families (about 75 individuals) an Italian feast and fresh baked cookies for dessert, we played a few rounds of Bingo using M&Ms and gummy bears as board markers.

This project was a great way to kick off the Be A Light program. The residents and staff were awesome. We enjoyed it so much that we plan to visit in 2013. After cleaning the kitchen we took a tour of the house and learned a few fun facts.

Did you know that LARMH residents come from all over the world? The house is pretty dope. There is a game room filled with just about every gaming system. The library is filled with books, comfy seats and children are allowed to take any book of choice back home with them. And for the moms and pops there is a parents ONLY room.

Below are a few shots from our visit.