On Thanksgiving Day, I started thinking about being grateful. Before we left to go to the big family party- before the turkey, stuffing, sweet pototoes, and all the other goodies, I took a moment to list in my head the things I am grateful for. What are you grateful for? It might be a special person, your family, your friends, a pet, your Girl Scout troop, the community you live in, or your creative talent. You might (and should) be thankful that you live in a time and place where our girls can do and be anything they want to!
Since most of my posts are about Community Service I just wanted to point out that as much as Thanksgiving is about saying “thanks,” it’s also about giving and about Community Service.
One of the groups I am hoping our service unit here in Orange is going to help again is Operation Gratitude. Operation Gratitude is a great organization that puts together thousands of care packages to U.S. Service Members every year. Over the years my Girl Scout troop has done many projects for them. One year we collected DVDs to go in the care packages. Between all the Orange service units and my daughter’s elementary school we got over 500 DVDs to donate. We’ve donated cookies and written letters. This year we are going to see how many paracord bracelets we can get. Operation Gratitude puts one in each care package they send. If your Girl Scout or Boy Scout troop would like to join our paracord bracelets drive- please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can arrange to have your bracelets and letters sent in with ours. Please go to the Operation Gratitude website and look over all the other things that they need for the care packages and all the “how-to” videos they have posted. As of last year Operation Gratitude has delivered over a million care packages to our military. Lets help keep this tradition going strong. Here is a note posted on the Operation Gratitude website:
To Girl Scout Troops Across the U.S.A.:
We are grateful for the Girl Scout troops that help us send Girl Scout cookies and other needed items to our courageous deployed troops. In the past, our recipients have enjoyed the personal notes that the Girl Scouts (or other donors) have attached to the boxes (2″x 4″ mailing labels work best), and we encourage you to do that again. Please be sure the notes are visible for screening, are addressed generically (Dear Brave One, Dear Hero, etc.), and are upbeat and positive.
You might also want to reference our “10 Ways to Help” flyer and our “Troops to Troops” flyer, too.
I love this story from a Brownie Troop in New York………
By: Kelly Martinsen, Brownie Card Project Leader & Guest Blogger
Long Beach, New York Brownie Troop 2166 got together and made cards for the troops who are serving overseas. These cards expressed the girl’s thanks and praise. Along with those cards the girls decided to include boxes of their world famous cookies for the heroes who received their cards. This effort started as a simple gratitude project to recognize the sacrifices that one person can make for the good of so many. But it turned into a beautiful sharing and learning experience as well when each girl shared their card with one another.
One little girl said, “You know my grandpa was a soldier in Korea”.
“So was mine”, another girl quickly responded, adding that “he doesn’t really speak about it much”. “My uncle has medals—lots of them!” “My mom’s friend is in Afghanistan but she is coming home after Christmas.”
And so on.
After each girl spoke of their personal stories, they all took a moment to talk about wars of the past and the current unrest in the various regions where our troops are deployed and the hardships they may be facing. It was a terrific learning experience for these girls. History, bravery, thankfulness, selflessness and love of one’s country were taught on that day utilizing just one phrase, “United States Service Member.”
Please send letters to: Operation Gratitude
16444 Refugio Road
Encino, CA 91436
Find out how you can say “Thank You” to our Military Heroes. It’s easier than you think! Make a difference in their lives today!
Please send other packages to: Operation Gratitude/California Army National Guard
17330 Victory Boulevard
Van Nuys, CA 91406
Phone: 262-OPGRAT-1 (262-674-7281)
Questions? Please email us: email@example.com.
THANK YOU for your support!
Facebook at www.facebook.com/OperationGratitude
Operation Gratitude is just one of hundreds of ways a troop can help “give back”. What ever your troop chooses I know it will be wonderful. Please send me your photos and stories so I can do a story about your troop here!!
“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”
― John Bunyan