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Creating Operation Compassion

Volunteers help package gifts to be sent to troops overseas through Operation Compassion.
Volunteers help package gifts to be sent to troops overseas through Operation Compassion.

Operation Compassion is a Salvation Army program which sends care packages to soldiers overseas four times a year. Most of the soldiers are stationed in Afghanistan. Thirteen volunteers helped pack 777 care packages Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2010 for troops in time for Valentine’s Day.

“I have the best volunteers,” Salvation Army Operation Compassion Coordinator Delana Bradbury said. “They are just tireless on this.”

Since the program’s start in 2002, 81,893 care packages have been sent to military personnel overseas. Bradbury received a plaque thanking her and the volunteers from those persons overseas that received Christmas packages this year.

“I forget how much this means to people,” Bradbury said about receiving the plaque of appreciation.

The care packages include personal hygiene gifts such as soaps, toothpaste, tooth brushes, q-tips and also little gifts like crossword puzzles. All gifts are sent in camouflage traveling cases. These packages are made possible completely by volunteers and donors. 

Rolls-Royce Corporation supported Operation Compassion by offering their employees the opportunity to purchase $5 jeans days for the last seven Fridays in 2009.  Through their generosity, Operation Compassion was able to send 1,033 Care Packages for Christmas, as well as shop for and ship 777 Care Packages for Valentine’s Day 2010.

The packing day was best summarized by volunteer Dorthea who wrote in an email, “Feelings don’t always motivate me to do what needs to be done, but the best way to describe what I’m feeling after volunteering today is, it feels good to do good.”

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