The Donation at Operation Gratitude

Yes, I made a last-minute run to Crossgates Mall yesterday, for the specific purpose of buying some last-minute Christmas gifts.  Don’t judge me, I’m sure there are some of you who are waiting until tomorrow to get your shopping done.

That being said, during my run from store to store, I passed by a charity kiosk.  The woman at the charity kiosk asked if I would make a donation.

I said, “Let me finish shopping and I’ll make a donation on my way out.”

Which is my usual tactic – I am more than willing to give to charity, but I want to take care of all my other shopping first.

Okay, shopping’s done (I work fast, mind you), and I return to the booth.

If you’ve never heard of Operation Gratitude, it’s a homegrown charitable organization where volunteers pack CARE packages and boxes, which are then sent off to soldiers and sailors worldwide.

I reached in my wallet to put a few dollars in the charity bucket …

… only to notice that the person I spoke to initially was not there.

Where did she go?

Well, I can’t just drop money in the tin and walk away … so I sat down and read their display book of what Operation Gratitude means, its mission goals, and its bond between American civilians and those who protect our country from all enemies.

And as I read the book, I found a few more dollars in my wallet.

Just then, another woman arrived.  “Hi,” she said.  “Are you here to donate to Operation Gratitude?”

“I am,” I replied.  “Where’s the other woman who was here initially?”

“Shift change.  I’m here for the next few hours.”

I put the money in the canister.  She then handed me a Christmas card.  “You can write a message and it will be included in one of the CARE packages.”

So I sat down at the table …

And I wrote a message to the armed services person who might read this.

“The toughest part of keeping our nation free and safe is the personal sacrifices you make over there – for us over here.  For all you do, not just for Christmas, but every day, we are eternally grateful and thankful.”

See, a little charity goes a long, long way.

And if you want to help out with Operation Gratitude, here’s their website.

Every amount helps, no matter how small.