Operation Appreciation was founded as a 501(c)3 organization in 2012 by an Army spouse and a group of 3 additional volunteers who all shared a common goal: love of country, community and gratitude for those who serve. The founding team wanted to create a resource for Georgia Guard and Reserve members across all military branches, our veterans and their immediate family members for information, emergency assistance, unit/family/chaplain support as well as a location for assistance when traditional avenues for our service members are not available. OpA has become that resource and we are proudly entering our fourth year of service for our troops!
Operation Appreciation has a scope that is never ending and works diligently with the family support staff/members, chaplains, units, armories, American Legion locations, Family Readiness Groups (FRG's), and other veterans programs to locate service members/veterans who are in need. OpA is currently supporting several deployed units through care packages, send-off and welcome home events, training/education, rear detachment and family care support, and special unit events. One of our largest initiatives to date is building a cabin retreat for returning veterans. It is critical that we, as a country, recognize that PTSD and other disabilities must be treated.....not ignored. This cabin will serve as a permanent retreat where qualifying veterans in need can take their families for some reintegration time. Nature seems to offer comfort and healing like no other source and OpA is honored to be a partner with community businesses and individuals to make Red, White & Bear a reality for our veterans.
OpA has assisted from beginning to end with multiple funerals. Our support has included coordination with the funeral homes, cemeteries, printing materials, music, family support, fundraising, memorials, services, photo slide shows, clothing (for immediate family members), flowers, and more. We literally step in and allow the service member time to grieve and be with family without the worry of finances and details from the funeral process. OpA has remodelled veteran homes to incorporate physical disabilities by working with local builders and individuals who are willing to donate their time and professional services. A few examples are: bathroom, flooring, kitchen, decking, entrance ramps in/out of the home and even a couple of homes that needed new roofs. OpA has held multiple fundraisers for medical emergencies to include: service injuries, accidental injuries, PTSD, burns, cancer, and dental. A few other opportunities have included rental, utility, food and transportation emergency assistance.
Without a doubt funding is our largest hurdle. While Operation Appreciation supports service members/veterans across the entire state of Georgia, there are many times when our assistance breaches state lines and bridges across the US. We do not have a geological boundary across the state that prevents assistance to a service member in need. Our Guard and Reserve members are called to duty from all states and join together to serve in unison. It is when they join together in service that OpA is honored to step in and support their overall need: unit, service member, family, or veteran.
In order for Operation Appreciation to be there for our troops….always ready….always there…..we need your donation. OpA would like to challenge you today to make a tax deductible donation and reinforce that by investing in Operation Appreciation; together, we are the difference for our veterans in our community and our country. God bless the U.S.A.!
Make it a GREAT day and remember; freedom isn't free....thank a veteran!