The past few months, we at Be Inspired PR have been wanting to give back. So after a little “fall cleaning” around the office, we found ourselves with a plethora of magazines, and collectively agreed that instead of hauling them to the recycle bins, we wanted to give them to someone who would really appreciate them. Then the idea came to us! What about the troops abroad? There are many of them who get engaged before they head off to serve this country, but when do they get a reprieve from work to get inspired for their own wedding?
Helping out the armed forces is something we at Be Inspired PR hold very dearly to our hearts, seeing as one of our very own (Ashley) has family currently in service. We passed the idea over to Ensign Kelly Wilks USN and she shared, “there are always magazines being donated, but rarely are there ones donated that cater specifically to female troops, especially ones who are engaged to be married.” In donating over 100 magazines, we will be able to provide troop brides and grooms with the tools to actively participate in their wedding planning process while serving our country at the same time. With these magazines, troops will be given the opportunity to escape the chaos around them and feel excitement for the future that awaits them!
About two weeks ago, Ashley, Lindsey and I made our way to the California Army National Guard 578th Engineer Battalion, where we had the opportunity to meet with Captain Jason M. Kolodziej and some of his female troops. We came with stacks of wedding magazines and the women were almost giddy, “contrary to popular belief, we like pretty things that glitter just as much as any other girl”, stated Staff Sergeant Karina Fortner. Thank you to Bridal Guide, Bride & Bloom, The Knot, Martha Stewart Weddings, Inside Weddings, Brides and Get Married who over the past few years have been so generous and given us many amazing magazines. It was so special to pass them along to others so they can continue to inspire!
Since then, we’ve now partnered with Operation Gratitude, a non-profit volunteer-based corporation funded entirely through private donations that puts together care packages filled with goodies and necessities for soldiers fighting in the war zone. An endeavor that began in Founder Carolyn Blashek’s living room now includes individuals, churches, schools, businesses, and service groups from across the country donating goods, raising funds, and writing letters. Unlike other charities, Operation Gratitude is the only charity that sends individualized packages to troops fighting in Afghanistan, Kuwait, Iraq, and ships off the coast. They are dedicated to ensuring that troops fighting in the war effort know that they are loved and appreciated.
“Our supporters hail from every state,represent every ethnic and economic background, are aged “old enough to hold a pencil” to seniors over 100 years, and represent every point on the political spectrum. Yet, we are all united by one common cause: to put a smile on [their] face and say “thank you.” – Carolyn
Twice a year, Operation Gratitude holds “assembly days” where all of the items that have been donated throughout the year are assembled into packages and shipped off to the heroes in harm’s way. Last Sunday, 11,151 packages were assembled and they hope to double that number on the next assembly days over Thanksgiving weekend!
Here are some pictures from our trip there last week!
For more information regarding Operation Gratitude, please visit their site.
Do your part and donate to Operation Gratitude’s mission to make sure each troop fighting for America feels appreciated this holiday season! Click here! Want to do more? Participate in an Assembly Day! Click here for the schedule!