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“Life is an exciting business, and most exciting when it is lived for others.” — Helen Keller
This is a thought Operation Appreciation proudly stands behind. Based in Georgia, this nonprofit dedicates all of their time and energy to providing much-needed assistance to veterans and active duty service members. It’s a small price to pay for offering a bit of hope during tough deployments and a difficult reintegration into the civilian world.
Picture leaving the comfort of your home to travel to unknown territory. Just imagine returning to the world you left behind to find that everything has changed.
“Our mind is on scheduling ourselves, our job, our children, our social activities. We cannot forget this is a freedom that comes at a very high price, and we need to recognize those who give us that freedom.” — Beth W., President of Operation Appreciation
At Operation Appreciation, no man or woman is left behind. A completely volunteer-run program, this nonprofit goes through the muck and mud like the best soldier to get the troops everything they deserve. From fully-stocked care packages to elaborate welcome home events, our nation’s finest are offered a bit of peace and happiness in the moments they need it most.
Always humble, and in the same spirit as the men and women she serves, Beth Waters, President of Operation Appreciation, doesn’t want recognition or glory, but she definitely deserves it. We here at Quality Logo Products® believe her hard work and dedication to our troops should be recognized, which is why it’s an honor to choose Operation Appreciation as the first recipient of Give Your Brand a Hand for 2018.
Money for advertising doesn’t grow on trees, but no price is too large and no request is impossible. With the help of family resource programs and chaplains, the volunteers at Operation Appreciation put together monthly care packages with items any military member would be happy to receive. These include: hygiene products, socks, peanuts, beef jerky, books, batteries, and anything else a deployed servicemen and women may need to be more at ease in uncomfortable conditions.
Not only are the troops treated to these care packages, but upon returning home they receive a warm welcome. Whether they’re in-state or overseas, returning service members are greeted by hugs from their loved ones, handmade signs, a sea of red, white, and blue with flags waving, and wailing bagpipes, one of Beth’s personal favorites. Everyone’s patriotic spirit is the first thing a veteran feels when they come off the bus or down the runway and into their family’s arms. These events are short and sweet and serve as a way for Operation Appreciation to let these hard-working military members know they have someone in their corner.
No Job is Too Big
Care packages and welcome home events are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the services offered by Operation Appreciation. Beth and her team go above and beyond the normal call of duty by rolling up their sleeves and doing the tough work. One such instance was a home they remodeled for a disabled veteran. This man had proudly served his country, but was dependent on everyone around him for help with things we usually take for granted like getting dressed and driving. Upon returning home in a wheelchair, his home wasn’t built to accommodate him any longer. There was no ramp to get to the front door, the doorway to the bathroom wasn’t wide enough, and there was shag carpet throughout the house.
Operation Appreciation came in as a crew and completely remodeled his entire house. They created a new ramp, made the doorways wider, ripped up the carpet for laminate flooring throughout the entire house, took out the tub, and put in a standing roll-in shower with reinforcement bars and a bench. It was worth the sore muscles to give this man his home and life back.
Red, White, and Bear
Perhaps the most ambitious initiative set forth by Operation Appreciation is their beautiful Red, White, and Bear cabin. After retirement, the sweet life would probably involve living freely in a waterfront property or a secluded cabin in the woods. However, Beth and her husband sacrificed this kind of life to instead give active duty service members a chance to reconnect with their loved ones.
Just this past year, they took all of their savings and bought land in the North Georgia mountains. They built a cabin dedicated entirely to the troops. A stay here is a break from the stress of coming home after deployment, giving service members uninterrupted time to spend with their loved ones. To date, 33 veterans and their families have been housed in the Red, White, and Bear cabin. From enjoying scenic walks to playing board games with their kids, this mini-vacation is a chance for them to reenter the world they left behind and decompress after all the stress and struggle they’ve endured. All room, transportation, and food is 100% paid for by donations to Operation Appreciation.
Support Our Troops
If provided the opportunity, Beth would love to expand with even more cabins. There are so many deserving candidates, but only one facility to house them all. Not only that, but she’d like to continue offering morale boosting events, family fun nights, and even more assistance with anything and everything the troops may need before, during, and after deployment.
This is where your support is critical. Whether it’s through fundraising, offering care packages, or sending money, Operation Appreciation relies on donations, sponsorships, and volunteers to stay in operation. Without everyone lending a hand, they wouldn’t be able to come through with these life-changing moments!
You can make a donation* to Operation Appreciation by downloading their form and sending a check to:
6053 Mountain Top Ridge
Hiawassee, Georgia 30546
Or make a donation by visiting their website!
*All donations made to Operation Appreciation are completely tax deductible.
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