Operation Gratitude

Happy Veteran’s Day everybody! I have some very special pictures to share with you! As I’ve told you before, my real job is being a Teacher in a wonderful elementary school. One of my stamp club members is our counselor, Donna Van Allen. She approached me with an amazing idea last summer and I jumped at the chance to help!

Donna was the brains and the majority of the muscle behind this huge undertaking she named Operation Gratitude. The idea was to make packages of 12 greeting cards, one for each month, to give to families of deployed personnel. On a school holiday, she and I set up the cafeteria and invited the community and staff to come stamp! We worked together to come up with 12 simple cards that anyone, including students, could make.

I took some pictures, but don’t have them all. you can see some of them set up on the tables.

The staff jumped right in! I was most impressed with the willingness of our male teachers! There was lots of joking going on, but they did take it pretty seriously and were so proud of their end product!

Our fearless leader, Principal Mark Rustan, even got his hands dirty!

So, we packaged them up and ended up with 1200 cards! WOW!!

So, today our school had a Veteran’s Day Town meeting. Donna invited many important military leaders from the local bases to come and accept our gift.

My two daughters, along with Donna’s two kids and another student from school, were asked to present the baskets to the military dignitaries. My girls, were so excited!

Donna and I didn’t get a picture together (or at least one I approved of!), but you can see her here standing behind her kids!

Being a former military wife, and knowing how hard it is to have your spouse away in a combat zone, I was so excited about this project. I truly hope all 1200 cards are used and sent by loved ones in the coming year!
Now that’s a cool way to use my stamp! 🙂

7 thoughts on “Operation Gratitude”

  1. Love it!!!!! So love it! Thank you so much for agreeing to be my partner in gratitude!!!! It was an amazing experience and a truly fulfilling experience to do! I am so glad that our kids were able to participate and experience this priceless event!!!! Kudos to you as well Erica. I hope to coordinate many more of these types of events with you. Thanks to all of our members of the Armed Forces past and present. We truly salute you!

    Proud Former Military Brat
    Donna Van Allen

  2. This is so awesome, Erica! Great photos and I'm sure all of these cards will be incredibly appreciated by many military families. 🙂

  3. I'm in awe of this idea and the results are amazing! So many lives will be touched by this outstanding act of kindness!

  4. I am speechless…not just at the project, but watching the guys stamp…..that is PRICELESS! How thoughtful, wonderful….just the best thing ever! Good for you and all the staff!

  5. As a military spouse, a military brat, & a Gold Star Mother, what a wonderful endeavor to see that you all did for our brave men & women in uniform. Thank you & your staff for their unselfish acts of genuine kindness. It always brings such great pride in my fellow man, when I am privy to witness such acts. It is wonderful to see you include your beautiful daughters as well. They will recall in future years their mother's gift of giving. Fantastic!
    I know that the men & women who receive these hand-made bundles of cards will smile & say silent thanks through using the gifts of these cards.
    God Bless You & always know, giving back is far greater than gifts received.
    Thank You, Kimberly Rairdan San Antonio, TX

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