Donate to Operation Gratitude

With founder Carolyn Blashek after packing # 350,000

Help a soldier out!
Join me in supporting our troops!

Part of being a socially responsible nerd is giving back to the community.  I’m big on helping people, whether it’s defending someone who’s being picked on or giving food to the less fortunate.  This is, of course, a recurring theme in my favorite sci-fi franchise, Star Trek…working towards the betterment of mankind.

Several years ago I became involved in an amazing organization called Operation Gratitude. We pack care packages and mail them around the world to those Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marine’s that are in harms way.  To date we’ve packed and sent almost a million care packages!  It’s a small but powerful way to say Thank You for risking your lives to protect ours.  For many of these men and women it will be the only package or piece of mail they receive.  The thank you letters we get back from them will break your heart.  Every single item in every package is donated and every volunteer works for free so every single penny raised goes towards shipping costs.  When I started volunteering the cost to ship a package was $10, today it costs $15.

If you don’t have money but you still want to help, there are many ways to do so.  I also crochet scarves that go into every package.  Collecting those old beanie babies everyone had but no longer wants is great too.  Hand written letters are always needed.  Go to the “Get Involved” section of the Operation Gratitude website for a ton of great ideas.

You can also buy products from those who donate a percentage of their profits to Operation Gratitude.  There is a list of them here.

My favorite of which is my friend Hayden’s company, Active Country (you’ve seen Hayden on here a few times, he’s kick ass).  He donates 5% of all his profits to Operation Gratitude.  You can find his company here.

This paypal button links directly to Operation Gratitude’s account so any money you donate will go directly to them.

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Some people have inquired about wanting to purchase one of my scarves. I am very happy to do this in exchange for a donation of at least $30 to Operation Gratitude (this donation will ship two care packages). Be warned that I only know one crochet pattern so my scarves are pretty basic but if you still want one, just send me an email at with the following:

1. Proof of your donation to Operation Gratitude

2. Your 1st and 2nd choice of color (just in case I can’t find the first color)

3. Whether or not you would like fringe or no fringe

4. The address where you would like the scarf shipped

I will pay for the yarn and shipping out of my own pocket to ensure that every dime goes to Operation Gratitude so please feel free to be generous. 100% of OpGrat donations go to shipping costs. No one is paid and everything that goes into the packages is donated. It’s one of the reasons I’ve chosen it as my charity of choice and why I have such great respect for the organization and its founder, Carolyn Blashek.


  1. Thanks for helping with Operation Gratitude Tracy. When I was stationed in Iraq I saw lots of these boxes come through the mail. Soldiers were always happy to see them. Keep up the good work you beautiful nerd you 🙂

  2. As a member of the armed forces currently serving in Afghanistan, I have one thing to say: thank you for your support.

  3. Tracy,

    You are the essence of what a true nerd person [ boy or girl ] should be. I commend you for being passionate enough about giving back to others and making a difference in this world. I’m trying my best to do the same on my blog, and I can only hope as it takes off – that the things I cover, the discussions I have, and the issues I’m passionate about are conveyed as well as you passionately convey yours.

    Thank you for your blog. It’s inspiring to me and it makes me even more passionate about providing information to folks about how gaming and interactivity with our fellow nerd can aid our lives in so many ways.

  4. As a former soldier and combat Veteran, thank you. When I was deployed for Desert Storm back in 1991 I received a card from a 6 year old through organization similar to this one. Lonely, homesick, and sitting in a ship port for Christmas and New Years wasn’t easy knowing that the ones I loved were home enjoying the holidays knowing their heart was aching in my abscence. Due to the mail system, that card was the only thing I got for Christmas that year. I still have that card and I still cry over it today because of how much it meant to me. So, thank you for what you are doing. It does make things easier for the soldiers.

  5. As aa active duty US Navy Sailor, let me say “Thank You” for supporting my brothers and sisters in harms way. Having been on 3 combat deployments myself, I know those care packages mean a lot to them. Keep fighting the good fight HNG!

  6. This is just a thank you for your support and the support of all the others within the organization. I was deployed to Iraq 4 times and we were always greeted with great support from such groups. You are an example of what is right in the world. Keep the support up for the troops!

    Jason Wells
    GySgt/USMC Ret

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