Write Letters for Homefront Hugs’ Thanksgiving Tradition

Photo courtesy of Operation Thanksgiving Hugs.

Photo courtesy of Operation Thanksgiving Hugs.

Here’s a tradition to share with your family after your meal is consumed – Operation Thanksgiving Hugs – from the folks with Homefront Hugs USA:

This Thanksgiving, after your warm delicious meals, after your pumpkin pie …gather your “troops” around to write some letters or cards to our wounded and sick vets in hospitals for our mission Operation Healing Angel.

Or write a note or card for a deployed hero far away from loved ones.
Just let us know which card is for whom:

  • Are your cards for our wounded warriors or their hero medical staff of Operation Healing Angel or for our deployed heroes of Homefront Hero Hugs.
  • Just add  somewhere on your cards or letters or drawings from the kids : ” for a Wounded Hero”, “for a Hero Nurse”, “for a Hero Physician”,  ”for a Hero Chaplain”, ”for a Hero med tech”, ” for a Hero psychiatrist or Social worker” or ” for a Hero Deployed Soldier”

Lifting troop morale helps fight depression, isolation and yes, even PTSD triggers.

  • Drawings and photos are welcome they make it feel like a real hug from home.
  • Don’t just sign the cards or notes add a personal touch even a joke or prayer, a riddle or photo or story about your dog or crazy family capers on “turkey day” and  your city and state !

Do this at your Thanksgiving celebration, then send your cards later to:

Homefront Hugs USA
1850 Brookfield Drive
Ann Arbor, MI 48103

Invite as many people to this event as possible and remember this event is at YOUR THANKSGIVING TABLES this coming Thursday November 28th !

We are out of cards of support, so this is our Turkey Day mission with all who support our troops without conditions.

Hope we get thousands of RSVPs here and everyone joins in so we can remind our wounded and deployed troops they are NEVER forgotten.



Lessons Learned from a Son’s First Deployment

Dorie Griggs inventorying the supplies before packing them for shipping. PHOTO CREDIT: Stanley Leary

Dorie Griggs inventorying the supplies before packing them for shipping.
PHOTO CREDIT: Stanley Leary

By Dorie Griggs

My son’s battalion will return home soon. I’ve looked through my photos and notes about the year.

During that time I have mailed over 443 pounds of needed items to both my son, his platoon, and the battalion. That number includes a Christmas mailing providing gift bags for each member of the platoon, a large shipment of items to the battalion headquarters of underwear and socks, as well as Easter, birthday and regular care packages.

Putting these mailings together was a community effort. It helped me pass the time by providing helpful items to our soldiers. Many of my friends sent their own boxes. I know my son and his soldiers appreciated their gifts. Continue reading

Voluneers Needed to “Wrap Up” U.S. Forces in Afghanistan

Photo courtesty of Operation Gratitude Blog.

Photo courtesty of Operation Gratitude Blog.

It’s August: temperatures are steadily in the 90s, a hurricane is taking aim at Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. What better time to breakout your crochet hooks and knitting needles to hand-craft winter scarves.

It’s time to gear up for Operation Gratitude’s 2011 Fall/Winter Scarf Project. From Girl Scout Troops to Grannies – they’re looking for volunteers to craft scarves for U.S. Troops who will spend the winter in Afghanistan.

“We look forward to receiving lovingly handmade items of warmth to send to our troops, and it is our goal to include a handmade scarf or hat in each and every care package.
Our first Assembly Day for care packages is Saturday, October  15th. We have three assembly days in November…. the 6th, 25th and 26th, with our final assembly day of the season scheduled for Saturday, December 17th when we will send our 700,000th package!!”

Photo courtesy of Operation Gratitude Blog.

There are only a few guidelines:

  • Operation Gratitude must receive the items by Dec. 12, 2011.
  • Keep the patterns simple – size restrictions (5-7″ across and no longer than 45″- 50″). NO FRINGE.
  • Hats are permitted.
  • Choose soft yarn in subdued colors. NO red-white-and-blue PLEASE.

Operation Gratitude/California Army National Guard

17330 Victory  Boulevard

Van Nuys, CA  91406

Attn: Scarves For Troops

For full details on the project are available HERE.

Send a Deployed Service Member a July 4th Thank You

By Tracie Ciambotti, cofounder of Military Families Ministry

As Americans, we will celebrate our freedom this July 4th with our families—backyard barbecues and fireworks.  I hope every American remembers to stop and say a prayer on that day for the men and women who fight to defend the freedom that July 4th represents.  Many military families will not be spending that day with their loved one who is serving abroad on a deployment.

Military Families Ministry  (MFM) is collecting “Thank You” cards and letters to send to deployed service members this July 4th.  We need to ship them by mid-June for arrival by July 4th.   

Will you help us?  Write a thank you card or letter to a service member and if you know one personally, send it to him or her directly.  If you don’t know a service member, send the cards to MFM and we will send them to the chaplains we support to be distributed to the troops.

You can contact Military Families Ministries here and share your contact information.

I made this card in June of 2005 when my son, Josh, was serving in Iraq on his first deployment.  This poem was my thank you to him and my prayer for him to come back home.  This year, I want to get thousands of thank you cards to send this message to all who are serving abroad—for our freedom. You can download a copy of the Thank You Card or the Poem here.

Calling on Kids to Create Artwork for Deployed Military

Sharpen your crayons and wet your paint brushes – here’s a contest for children interested in sending their artwork to deployed military members.

“Pictures for Patriots” is a contest set up by Operation Gratitude, an organization that has sent more than a 600,000 care packages to deployed members of the U.S Armed Forces.

The contest starts May 25th for children from kindergarten through 12th grade. The students can submit an 8 x 10 inch drawing or painting expressing their gratitude for the U.S. service members serving in harm’s way. All of the appropriate artwork will eventually be included in boxes filled with snacks and entertainment items and sent to troops.

But, there’s an additional incentive. Operation Gratitude will select its top 10 entries and post them on Facebook for people to vote on their favorite. The winner will be put on the cover of Operation Gratitude Magazine.

Participants can email a digital picture of their  drawing to opgratmedia@gmail.com between May 25 to June 15. But they also must mail the artwork (originals only, please no photocopies)  to: Pictures for Patriots 2011/Operation Gratitude; 16444 Refugio Road; Encino, California 91436.

Kids can submit as many drawing and paintings as they would like. Voting on the top 10 works of art will begin June 20 and run through July 3 on the  Operation Gratitude Facebook .You can request an Entry Form and complete Official Rules by emailing: opgratmedia@gmail.com .

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