The Lander Library decided to “Build a Better World” this summer with an Operation Gratitude drive. Operation Gratitude is a nonprofit, volunteer-based organization that sends care packages and letters of support to individual military service members deployed in harm’s way, to their children, and to first responders, veterans, new recruits, military families, and wounded heroes and their caregivers.
“It was an easy decision to do something for the men and women who serve our country,” said Tasha Reeves, Library Assistant and event coordinator. “After all, that’s what they are out there doing every day, trying to build a better world. Operation Gratitude is a great way to honor them.”
The Lander Library set up a collection drive asking for wish list items for these groups. Items on the list included toiletries, stationary, clothing, gift cards, electronics and thank you letters, as well as yarn or knitted or crocheted hats or scarves.
At the end of the drive, the library had collected hundreds of greeting cards, 13 stuffed animals, eight hand-knit scarves, and one big box of hand and body warmers, along with an assortment of sweatpants, socks, stationery, and toiletries. Monetary donations totaled $252. All donations were sent to Operation Gratitude headquarters in California to be packaged and distributed as needed.
“Supporting the men and women who work on a daily basis to preserve our freedoms and to help in times of crisis is our privilege and obligation,” said Anita Marple, Lander Library Manager. “This project is a great example of how the library brings the community together.”