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Daisy Rock Artists Waiting 4 Wyatt Join With OPERATION GRATITUDE To Help U.S. Soldiers Overseas
This past Saturday, December 2nd, members of Waiting 4 Wyatt, along with hundreds of volunteers, congregated to join OPERATION GRATITUDE to help assemble thousands of care packages for our American troops this Holiday season. OPERATION GRATITUDE is a California based 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that sends care packages and letters addressed to individually named U.S. Service Members deployed in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Guantanamo Bay, Kosovo and on military ships all over the world. Based out of the National Guard Armory in Van Nuys, the all-volunteer corporation seeks to lift troops\' morale, and bring a smile to their faces.
Waiting 4 Wyatt donated both their time and 50 copies of their self produced album, What are you waiting for? to the cause. "We know that 50 CDs is just a drop in the bucket, but we wanted to give what we could. I hope that the soldiers that do receive our CD realize that we are thinking about them and appreciate all that they are doing for us" stated Lucy Levinsohn, the bands lead singer.
Working diligently from 10am-4pm daily in an assembly line, volunteers have been working as fast as they can to get these packages done in time to ship for the Holidays. On this particular Saturday as 4pm rolled around and everyone was preparing to leave for the day, the storm clouds began to move in and rain began to fall. Hundreds of boxes of goods had to be covered to protect them for the oncoming downpour and although the work day was technically over, the people continued to work hard to save everything from the possibility of being destroyed by rain, which in turn could prevent thousands of soldiers from receiving their personal care package. "I was pretty tired from putting in a full days work but, at the end of the day as the rain started to roll in I knew they needed my help getting all those boxes covered. I just couldn\'t leave until the job was done", stated Billy Berman, the bands bassist.
OPERATION GRATITUDE founder Carolyn Blashek began her mission shortly after 9/11. Wanting to be more involved she tried to enlist in the Army, after being told that she was too old to join she began volunteering. Her decision to start OPERATION GRATITUDE happened after a chance meeting with a soldier who was heading back to war. His mother had just passed away, his wife had left him and his only child had died. He told her, “I’m going back over there, I probably won\'t make it back. But it doesn\'t matter, because I don\'t have anyone anyway. There\'s no one." It was that moment she decided to make a difference, to let a soldier know that there are people back home that care.
OPERATION GRATITUDE care packages contain food, toiletries, entertainment items and personal letters of appreciation, all wrapped with good wishes of love and support. The shipping cost of each package averages $10-$15. Financial donations are devoted to shipping and communication expenses, and are tax deductible. On December 16, 2006 OPERATION GRATITUDE will be celebrating the shipment of 200,000 packages sent. 50,000 of those will have been sent during this season’s holiday drive. Volunteers are still needed, those interested in participating should contact Carolyn Blashek.
Donations items can be sent or delivered before December 15, 2006 to:
Operation Gratitude/California Army National Guard
17330 Victory Boulevard
Van Nuys, CA 91406
Attn: SFC Holifield-818.654.0015 or
Attn: Charlie Othold-818.437.6201
Monetary donations can be made by credit card through PayPal from the Operation Gratitude website or by mailing a check payable to:
16444 Refugio Road
Encino, CA 91436
For more information about Operation Gratitude go to www.opgratitude.com or e-mail Carolyn Blashek: email@example.com .
For more informatin about Waiting 4 Wyatt go to: www.waiting4wyatt.com or e-mail Lucy Levinsohn: firstname.lastname@example.org