Operation Gratitude has taken care of a lot of military men and women over the years (and their XMas Stocking program is very well known). Their founder, Carolyn Blashek, is an amazing person and responsible for over 440,000 care packages sent to our troops in harms way. Op Gratitude just participated in a contest sponsored by Target and they received some much needed funds. I voted for them. Thanks to all who participated.
Troop Support Group Hits Target's Charity Bullseye
Office of the Secretary of Defense Public Affairs
Story by Sharon Foster
Posted: 05.28.2009 02:01
WASHINGTON - Operation Gratitude will receive $232,948 from Target as part of the company's first online giving campaign.
The California-based troop-support group was one of 10 charities
selected by Target to receive a percentage of $3 million based on votes
cast in its online "Bullseye Gives" contest, hosted by the
social-networking Web site Facebook.
"I would like to thank everyone who voted for Operation Gratitude,"
Carolyn Blashek, Operation Gratitude founder, said. "Each vote paid to
send an additional care package to our deployed troops. Target and our
voters have truly made a difference to the men and women of the U.S.
military who are in harm's way, far from home and their loved ones. I
am forever grateful for their dedication to this cause."
From May 10-25, Operation Gratitude's Facebook fans, volunteers, donors
and supporters joined forces to cast 22,627 votes, earning the
organization 7.8 percent of the $3 million charitable donation pledged
Target invited all Facebook members to visit its Facebook page to make
a choice on how 10 national charities would receive a portion of its $3
million in weekly charitable giving. The charities Target selected
included the American Red Cross, Breast Cancer Research Foundation,
Feeding America, HandsOn Network/Points of Light Institute, Kids In
Need Foundation, Operation Gratitude, Parent Teacher Association,
National Park Foundation, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and the
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital received the most votes -- 77,427 -- and earned $797,123.
Laysha Ward, president of Target's community relations department, said
the company is grateful to the online voters for their "passionate"
response to "Bullseye Gives" and their willingness to share personal
stories about why these charities are important to them.
"We're excited that all 10 amazing charities will receive a generous
donation, as well as increased awareness through social-networking
platforms," Ward said.
In return, Blashek said, she thanks Target for its generous support and
creative vision in embracing the social-networking world for good
"My attitude has completely changed about Facebook and other
social-networking tools," Blashek said. "This is a very powerful thing.
It is a wonderful way to reach out to people and for people to reach
out to you."
Blashek said the donation comes at a good time. "Operation Gratitude is
in the midst of its annual Patriotic Drive, during which a total of
40,000-plus care packages will be assembled for U.S. servicemembers,"
she said. "These funds will carry us a long way. All of it will go
toward care packages for our troops."
In addition to earning Operation Gratitude a financial windfall,
"Bullseye Gives" also resulted in a windfall of "fans" for the
organization during the two-week voting period.
"Our fans on Facebook increased from 472 on May 9 to 5,131 on May 26,"
Blashek said. "We are so excited about this new base and members
wanting to learn more about us and how they can support our troops."
Overall, more than 167,000 Facebook members voted for the charity of their choice.