Our Christmas Care Package Event was PHENOMENAL!! While it has been phenomenal every year, this being our first event as Operation Warrior Watch made the support we received this time even more special. Over 60 volunteers showed up Saturday afternoon to help sort, pack, and wrap gifts for over 90 boxes. Many more folks stopped by just to drop off their baked goods and bags of presents.
After 7 years, the support of local organization and all of the volunteers continues to take our breath away. 8 weeks ago, our mailing list was almost nonexistent. By Friday night, we were up to 90 names, and at the eleventh hour, we received 30 more!
Money was tight to begin with, but once again, donations rolled in. The Richard L. Pittman Champaign Marine Corp League, the CU Downtown Independent Volunteers Association, and an anonymous donor put us back on the map. In addition, many, more donations rolled in to help cover the cost of shipping our boxes, and shopping for our servicemen.
CU Banner donated a gorgeous banner to use at our events. Station One Screen Printing helped us out with 100 black t-shirts. Stevie Jay Broadcasting ran advertisements on the radio promoting the cause. So many volunteers from the community showed up to work: To wrap, box, and organize.
But the event wasn’t just one day. It started in the days, weeks and even months before. Cookies and brownies and rice krispie treats brought to us on Saturday were cranked out in kitchens earlier in the week. Bags and bags of gifts—sunglasses and flashlights and socks and gloves had been purchased over the previous weeks and months. Teachers and students had been writing letters and cards since Thanksgiving. Operation Warrior Watch, and the military personnel we support, were in the forefront of people’s thoughts for much longer than just the one day.
Thank you. I cannot thank you enough. Oh wait—did I say thank you? Because, thank you.
We at Operation Warrior Watch will send boxes to the last round of names that came in, as we get about our original mission to continue to highlight our soldiers and veterans, and their families. We look forward to interacting with all of you, and encourage you to contact us any time you meet someone or see something that we can showcase.
Have the Merriest of Merry Christmases, and please: keep in touch—every soldier, every family, has a story and we want to tell them all.