These men and women worked expeditiously to remodel my bathroom and bedroom so I could continue to care for my disabled husband in our home. They were so understanding and showed such compassion and genuine support of their fellow man. Thanks to them we will be together anther Christmas in our home. Thanks to all of you for the good work that you do!
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta is proud to help sponsor some of the events Operation Appreciation provides for the Georgia Guard and Reserve families. Operation Appreciation’s passion to support the men and women who serve our country with such dedication is a true example of patriotism. We are thankful for our Service Members, for Operation Appreciation, and for the ability to help children.
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
Operation Appreciation has been such a HUGE blessing to the Georgia National Guard community. I can't begin to list ALL the things President Beth Waters, an all-around wonderful woman, has done to assist with making the lives of our Soldiers and their Families much better and brighter but a few are as follows: secured a two night stay from a local hotel so the family of a deploying Soldier could attend the departure ceremony, financially supported 4 separate Holiday Family Day events, paid the postage for two rounds of care packages mailed to Soldiers deployed to Kuwait and secured a donation from Costco of more than 3000 bottles of water to support two separate 78th Aviation Troop Command Events. Any request for assistance is always met with a way to find "YES" as the answer.
When our troops are in need, Operation Appreciation is there to help. We have seen firsthand the level of dedication that this organization has to military families. Operation Appreciation's foundation is built on a genuine love for our heroes and this is evident time and time again with everything that they do. Their positive impact in the military community is one that is so large it can't be measured.
Real Hero Deals
This organization (OpA) has been there for our service members in many ways when our Soldiers and Airmen have been called to serve, both overseas and here at home. This support has made a positive impact and demonstrated to everyone who serves the appreciation that is out there in the community.
OpA has provided tangible, welcome, and greatly appreciated support to our members when they were fully engaged with their mission of assisting Georgia’s citizens during emergencies.
OpA and Mrs. Beth Waters are a blessing. During Hurricane Matthew 2016, Mrs. Waters and her crew came in and provide food for Soldiers and Airmen that were working 24 hour shifts in the Georgia Army National Guard's Joint Operations Center. OpA provided meals and snacks for over 75 personnel for two days. This was a blessing because it allowed our service members to keep working and not worry about going to get food. This act greatly increased the morale of the Guardsmen and women. We are blessed to have people that not only say that they support service members but show it when it really matters.
SGM James W. Grady
Senior Operations NCOIC
Operation Appreciation was a godsend for me when my wife passed away two years ago. Ms. Beth Waters is again helping out other families who are finding themselves in financial hardship. Please consider donating to this cause. I can vouch personally for the organization.
BLAIR FAMILY TESTIMONIAL
Nearly three years ago, I received a phone call from CPS that forever altered the course of my family’s life. Our five year old son had been critically injured by a teenage babysitter.
I fell to my knees and prayed that God would deliver me from this nightmare. Losing my sense of sight and smell and sound, I managed to whisper my husband’s social security number to the social worker so she could get in touch with the Red Cross.
My husband was an E-5 currently serving in Afghanistan with the U.S. Army. Jack was finishing a nearly 10-month long deployment, and all we could talk about was the glorious reunion we would have together with our 4 kids. Tragically, Jack would only come home to 3 children.
I do not remember much in the freefall hours of those first few days learning of Ian’s fatal injury. I remember staying by my son’s bedside telling thim that Daddy was coming home, please hold on. Jack embarked on a hallowed and harrowing journey home from Afghanistan to say goodbye to his son – Ian clung violently and soulfully to life until his Daddy reached his hospital bed side.
I do not know how Operation Appreciation came to know of our story – but I remember Beth Waters (a stranger) calling me and asking to help. I don’t remember what I said…but I know that Beth and her organization NEVER gave up on our family! I was a soul unplugged from life and earth – just desperately trying to cling to my sanity and humanity.
I held vigil by my dying son’s bedside, waiting for my husband to return home so that we could release our son to Jesus and His angels. After three days of non-stop flying through international air space and war zones, Jack returned home to our son. He held Ian’s hand, wept, sang, and kissed his forehead. Ian drew his last breath and then died minutes after Jack returned.
Because it was a homicide, the pure chaos and hell that followed those moments renders my memory virtually blank. I have so little memory of processing my son’s murder, my husband’s return home from war, and the thought of embarking on this hallowed journey of mourning, loss, and ultimately rebirth.
No family should ever plan their five year old’s funeral. It subverts the very order of nature and God’s plan. But there we were – trying to sort out details about coffins, headstones, and mortuary plans – all in this surreal, sublime soup of an existence.
We did not have the money to pay for Ian’s funeral outright. And because he was so little, we did not have any life insurance on him. We were lost – how could we bury our son with the honor and dignity he deserved?
Beth Waters and her foundation had begun a Go Fund me account – Beth handled all the details and did all the messaging and outreach. Dozens and dozens of family, friends, military family, church family, and community members all graciously donated to our fund. Within $100, Beth had raised the almost exact amount needed to cover little Ian’s burial.
And she arranged all the financial details with the Cemetery.
Beth – my heart breaks as I write this. Those days were searing – a kind of burning pain that takes your breath away and leaves you in ashes. You allowed us to bury our son with the grace and respect and dignity he deserved. I cannot thank you enough. You continued to follow up with our family – checking in on us and offering a gentle, patient ear when we raged against the sorrow of our loss.
Since those days in May 2014, our family has endured the process of transformation and transfiguration. It’s been brutal, but we are learning to live and love on through the pain. And find some happiness again.
There is no way we would have survived those first few days, weeks, and months without the unconditional love and support from Beth and Operation Appreciation. We love you forever! Our lives will always be intertwined.
A Thank You from Suzanne Westerman & Dennis Pete (her fiancé)
“Once in a while someone comes along. Someone who just naturally makes everyone feel a little happier. You’ve been that someone to me. You’ve given me a new perspective on a lot of things, including myself. There are things you’ve said to me I’ll always remember and ways you’ve helped me I’ll never forget. The times we spend together are always good times that leave me looking forward to the next time. So thanks for being the wonderful person you are. You’re an inspiration to me, and I’m very glad and grateful that you’ve come into my life”.
Beth: Words cannot express how grateful I am for you. There is no question why God would bring us together. Thank you for caring, sharing, and supporting me through the toughest time in my life! You are a very special lady!
Beth: I am so very grateful you are in Suzy’s life! You have been a true blessing for not just Suzy but everyone who loves her and needs her in their life. Ash and I especially! I don’t know where we would be without you guiding – not demanding – her to get her lump checked. We thank God for you and the influence you have had on our lives.
- Thank you! Dennis
A Note from Kristal Perkins
Dec. 20, 2013
The words "Thank You" really do not express how thankful we are for Southland Homes generous donation to our family. Your donation of the materials and labor to roof our home, appliances and gift cards was such a blessing in more ways than one. Southland Homes not only saved our home they saved my husband.
In February 2011 my husband had to retire from Capitol Police due to an inoperable and un-treatable heart condition after 20 years of service. We were told by the doctor's it was imperative that we minimize all stress in his life as much as possible and a leaking roof with no money to repair it is very stressful.
In January 2012 our youngest son (Justin) was diagnosed with stage 3 Hodgkins Lymphoma Cancer and in January 2013 while on duty at the Police Department I was a pedestrian struck by a vehicle.
Currently my husband is still monitored closely by his physicians, Justin's cancer is in remission and I am still under a doctor's care.
On April 12, 2013 I had posted a message on Facebook about some financial struggles we were facing, one being our roof was leaking. A few minutes later Beth Waters, the president of "Operation Appreciation" contacted me and stated that a local Roofing Company heard about our situation and battles and they had volunteered to roof our home.
After six months of the company advising us each month that they were busy and would get to it the next month, we not only needed a roof, we then had ceiling damage throughout the interior.
As I stated, due to my husbands heart condition he is not suppose to be stressed. As you can see, since his diagnosis, our lives has been full of nothing but stress. In November 2013, GOD answered our prayers. We were contacted by "Southland Homes" who stated they had heard about our needs and wanted to help.
Southland Homes not only replaced our roof, they blessed our family. The biggest blessing of all was not only the roof being replaced but having the opportunity to meet the staff of Southland Homes. They are servants of GOD and were sent to us to lift our burdens and remind us that "GOD IS ALWAYS RIGHT ON TIME AND HE WILL NEVER PUT MORE ON US THAN WE CAN BEAR"!
Thank You "Southland Homes" for not only roofing our home but for helping me keep my husband a little while longer.
-Kristal A. Perkins
Dear Ms. Waters,
I'm told of your tireless efforts to organize support after the terrible tragedy involving CW2 James Dutton's parents. Please know that these efforts are recognized and appreciated.
To be recalled from deployment to face a family emergency takes a special brand of courage. ON behalf o the entire USAR, I am glad to know CW2 Dutton’s other “family” has gathered to give him this kind of support. Your leadership in this effort is truly irreplaceable.
Thank you again.
Phyllis J. Wilson
Chief Warrant Officer Five, US Army
Command Chief Warrant Officer
Oct. 10, 2013
I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has responded to my mom and dad's recent accident. I called mom ( Midge Dutton ) nearly every day...even when deployed. She was not just my mom, but my best friend, foundation, and strength. She set a good example and I did what I could to live my life to make her proud. I miss her and it will be hard for me to live my life without her. All the plans we had for the future. I wanted my daughter to know her and learn about all the cool stuff she was doing. She was always doing something fun and interesting. The tragic and abrupt loss of her life is not fair but it is life; there are no guarantees. This summer, I spent a month in Michigan with my parents and Tepper (my daughter) got to spend time enjoying their company. She got to enjoy the awesome summer weather and peaceful Yooper experience. Mom, Tepper and I made some of mom's famous bread and we got to sit around eating toasted bread and butter. Mom took Tepper to the barn to feed the horses. Mom introduced Tepper to the Muppets, gardening, and cooking. I hope Tepper remembers the time she had with mom. Thank you for everyone who took the time to read this. Mom was a beautiful person full of life and I believe her spirit will shine brightly in heaven.
I love you mom and I miss you.
Oct. 8, 2013
I first met Beth Waters, founder of Operation Appreciation, in the family waiting area during a local ICU, where my daughter-in-law was being treated for life-threatening blood infection. My son was a Second Lieutenant in the 1-108th Cavalry of the Georgia Army National Guard at the time. I had been praying for a tax deductible vehicle to facilitate business contributions for Hannah, as I knew the ongoing expenses to support a quad-amputee would be enormous. Operation Appreciation offered that service, exhibiting compassion and flexibility during the entire 65-day ordeal. When it became apparent that Hannah would not survive, Operation Appreciation was there. The organization covered the funeral expenses as well as offering support while my son transitioned from a two-salary to a one-income household. beth personally provided creative solutions to a multitude of barriers through the experience. Operation Appreciation supplied my son with financial, emotional and tactical support - a blessing on many levels.
Thank you, Operation Appreciation, for you do!
A Note from Mark Rinehart
I can never hope to repay Operation Appreciation for the kindness it has shown me. In July 2012, my wife Hannah suddenly became ill. What was supposed to be a routine doctor visit became a trip to the Emergency Room, and by midnight she was transported to the Intensive Care Unit. Doctors were elated that Hannah survived the night, but she would continue to be in critical condition, with her life in a very delicate balance. I struggle to find the words to express the ugly circumstances in which I found myself. In the midst of attempting to work with my civilian employer to get additional leave and trying to balance a budget that depended upon two steady incomes, I was faced with the reality that I had to authorize doctors to amputate my wife’s hands and feet.
I worked feverishly to do whatever I could to take care of Hannah’s future, but I had no experience in fundraising. I was lost and, in distress, I cried out to God for help.
That prayer was answered through Ms. Beth Waters of Operation Appreciation. She came to visit me in the hospital waiting room only a few days later. She had substantial experience with fundraising, and she offered Operation Appreciation’s services to me. Operation Appreciation took the lead in fundraising and public awareness of Hannah’s circumstances. They helped organize my friends and family who all wanted to help out so that we were all able to do more together. But, more importantly, Operation Appreciation gave me the ability to spend more time with my wife. For that I am so very thankful.
August came and went. By September, Hannah’s condition had deteriorated to the point that doctors were surprised with each passing day that she was still with us. One sad night, our family gathered around the bed, and we stayed with her until she passed in the early hours of the morning. Fundraising for Hannah’s future was no longer necessary. I would have expected Operation Appreciation to have given me their sympathies and move on to someone else, but what they did next took me by surprise.
Operation Appreciation stayed with me every step of the way. They were present with family at the funeral home and church when preparations were being made. They paid the costs of the funeral. They looked up the requirements for the grave marker and presented me with options. They even went so far as to put together thank you gifts for those people who helped us.
As I said before, I can never hope to repay Operation Appreciation for the kindness it has shown me.
Thank you, Operation Appreciation, for everything.
I just wanted to say thank you for giving me the opportunity to “Not Go Down Without A Fight”. Because of the “Miles for Miracles Walk-A-Thon Fundraiser” I was able to focus entirely on my health and recovery. Operation Appreciation you were truly my MIRACLE an I am truly blessed that you were a part of my journey!