Winning Hearts and Minds Through Giving.
The mission of Operation Give is to give hope to the deprived and disconnected people of the world; most often where the U.S. military is serving. We provide the much needed material humanitarian supplies and resources to the U.S. Military men and women so they in turn can distribute these items to the people they come in contact with. Operation Give gives hope to people in war-torn countries and to people suffering from natural disasters. We build bridges through giving; spanning cultural differences and language barriers; speaking the international language of love through giving.
Serving our Military Families:
Operation Give’s mission is also to serve our men and women in the military and their military families. Through giving, we express the appreciation of a grateful nation and let them know their service has not been forgotten. We help provide for their families while deployed and give them and others the opportunities to participate in the giving process; as they take catch the giving spirit and become involved in the different giving programs.
Giving helps to save lives through Collateral Kindness.
Our Mission in Action:
Looking back over the past 11 years, since the inception of Operation Give, I have yet to receive one request from anyone serving in the military asking for supplies for themselves. Not one soldier, airman, seaman or marine has ever asked us to send items to them for personal use. Instead, it has always been requests for items they need to give out to others; for the people in the areas they are serving in, for kids in a school, for children in an orphanage and on and on.
No matter where the US military is serving in the world or in whatever capacity, our US military men and women, as they in the course of their duty, see someone in need and have a desire to help. It appears to be the basic nature of those serving in the military to want to help the people in the war-torn countries they go to, or the people suffering from some type of natural disaster, or to help children suffering from a variety of different tragedies. There is always collateral kindness, no matter where we go in the world.
The problem is that these men and women serving in the military do not have supplies or access to supplies of humanitarian-aide, nor does the military itself have the ability to provide the much needed humanitarian supplies. The soldiers, airmen seamen and marines are even forbidden by regulation from soliciting any type of aide or support in this area. (And I know this reg through personal experiences, read my book “Collateral Kindness”)
Even civil affairs units in the military, serving overseas, do not have the supplies they need to conduct their mission. For the most part without the help and assistance of outside organizations, civil affairs units would not be able to provide supplies for local citizens in need.
That is where Operation Give comes in. Over the past 10 years, we have been shipping humanitarian supplies to service men and women all over the world. We have become the collector and shipper of much needed humanitarian items, as we have attempted to fill this void. To date we have now shipped over 120 forty-foot ocean containers filled to capacity with all the items requested by those serving our country overseas, in order to help someone in need.
They might not speak the language, or understand the culture, but everyone understands the language of giving and receiving. Giving does build bridges over many obstacles that might normally prevent trust and mutual understanding from developing. Through the seemingly small acts of unselfishly giving, our service men and women are able to express genuine concern and love; consequently overcoming fear and misperceptions and I am sure at the same time they are creating more positive perceptions.
We aren’t conquering world hunger, but we are winning the hearts and minds of people, young and old, one person at a time, as we reach out to someone in need and provide something they need or want. In the course of our military efforts around the globe, there is collateral kindness and it is paying off.
For the past 40 plus years, in my various military capacities, I have been fortunate to have traveled to far off lands, interacted with many different people from all walks of life and performed numerous military missions and assignments. I have spent 3 deployments in Iraq, from the time the war began to when it basically ended, interrogated numerous Iraqi generals and seen first hand the ravages of war. Amidst all of that, more importantly, I have witnessed the effects of collateral kindness and how many lives have been touched and changed forever.
Celebrating Military Appreciation Month:
Congress designated May as National Military Appreciation Month in 1999 to ensure the nation was given the opportunity to publicaly demonstrate their appreciation for the sacrifices and successes made by our service members – past and present. As you contemplate the importance of our military in the history of our nation and think of ways you might show your appreciation to our service members, please think of Operation Give.
With our various projects and operations (you can see on our website), we have continued to ship items our service members have requested; ultimately destined for the people they desire to help. Operation Give will continue to supply humanitarian supplies to our service members, as long as the desire to help another continues. Everything we collect gets shipped out to wherever it is needed most.
As service members go about their business of killing bad guys, liberating and freeing those in bondage, and winning the hearts and minds of the people, our soldiers, airmen, seamen and marines will be the cause of much collateral kindness. And we at Operation Give will continue to be focused on supplying humanitarian-aide to soldiers and their families and providing all of them an opportunity to catch the spirit of giving.
Don’t forget to show your appreciation to our service members, any way you can.
“Doing it the wiggles way”