Operation Gift Cards
For our wounded and injured troops in the Walter Reed National Military Hospital at Bethesda, Maryland

Since October 2005, the Operation Gift Cards’ 125 monthly/bimonthly visits have presented 22,570 thank you kits which contained $451,400 in post exchange (military department store) gift certificates to our wounded troops. An additional $511,615 in other gift certificates and special group product donations (Girl Scout cookies, corporate gift certificates etc.) have been delivered to the Soldier Family Assistance Center, the Fisher Houses, Building 62, the Navy Lodge, the Red Cross, and the Casualty Affairs Office, along with over $50,000 worth items on the “wish list” (listed on the right) for both the wounded troops and their families (approx. $1,013,015 total).

Sponsored by VETERANS and their supporters in 71 chapters, posts, detachments and units of the:
American Legion: Fairfield Post 74, Shelton Post 16, Fairfield Post 143, Derby Post 24, Milford Post 196, Seymour Post 10, Wallingford Post 187, Orange Post 127, Norwalk Post 12
AMVETS (American Veterans): Dannialson Post 45, Derby/Shelton Post 43
Disabled American Veterans: Stamford Ch. 13, Fairfield Ch.19, Enfield Ch. 52, Greater New Haven Ch. 2, Derby Ch. 4, Milford Ch. 15, Manchester Ch. 17, Bristol Ch. 5, West Haven Ch.18, Middletown Ch. 7, Norwich Ch. 10
Marine Corps League: Stamford Detachment 910
Military Order of the Purple Heart: Shelton/Derby Ch. 1, Greater New Haven Ch. 103, New Britain Ch. 51, Darien Ch. 1932, Enfield Ch. 552
Veterans of Foreign Wars: Fairfield Post 9427, Derby Post 10585, Ansonia Post 597, Huntington Post 10466, Yalesville Post 9965
Also sponsored by: State HQ of CT: American Legion, AMVETS, DAV, MOPH, & VVA,
And: Vietnam Combat Vets Mon. & Tues. Evening Groups from the New Haven Vet Center, Employees of Sikorsky Aircraft Corp.,
Gary Plassman (Vietnam veteran), Actress Ellen Muth, the Order of Sons and Daughters of Italy in America West Haven Lodge 2832, the Affinion Group, the Vets Who Care Committee, Naugatuck Valley and Derby Boy Scout Troop 3, the Westport Fire Department, No Vet Left Behind, Milford Knights of Columbus, Ken Bundy (Vietnam veteran), Family and Tues. morning Group of the West Haven V. A. Hospital, the Union Memorial Church, Adam Leapley family, Massachusetts AMVETS, Veterans of Korea, Vietnam and Saudi Wars, the Connecticut GTO Club, the Fairfield Fire Department, District 1 AMVETS, the Beau Keen Family, the St. Joseph High School Boys Lacrosse Team, the Laborer's Union Bridgeport Local 665, and the Treamsters Union Stratford Local 1150, Always Brothers, Charley With A Y Foundation, Daughters of the American Revolution and Commissioner Schwartz. the Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs, Assembly #3000 West Haven Knight of Columbus, Halloween Yacht Club
* Each Sponsor (has the option of sending a representative to hand deliver their thank you kits) has purchased a minimum of $500.00 in post exchange gift certificates for the wounded. Several sponsors have purchased over $20,000 in gift certificates during the duration of Operation Gift Cards. Contributions are listed at the bottom of the page.

Click for a printable pdf version of OGC Summary Page, OGC Sample Thank You Kit
PRESS RELEASES: 2015 Oct., Sept., 2014 Nov., Oct., Sept., Aug., July, June, May., Apr., Mar., 2nd Feb., 1st Feb., Jan., 2013 Dec., Nov., Oct., Sept., Aug. July, June, May, April, March, Feb., Jan. 2012 Dec., Nov., Oct., Sept., Aug., July, June, May, Apr., Mar., Feb., Jan., 2011 Dec., Nov., Oct., Sept., Aug, July, June, May, Apr., Mar., Feb., Jan., 2010 Dec., Nov., Oct., Sept., Aug., July, 2nd June, 1st June, May, Apr., 2nd Mar, 1st Mar., Feb., Jan., 2009 Dec., Nov., Oct., Sept., Aug., July, June, May, Apr, Mar., Feb., Jan., 2008 Dec, Nov, Oct., Sept., Aug.. July, June, May, Apr, Mar, Feb, Jan, 2007 Dec, Nov, Oct, Sept, Aug, July, June, May, Apr, Mar, Feb, Jan, 2006 Dec, Nov, Oct, Sept, Aug, July, June, May, April, March, Feb., 2005 Oct. 05 (first visit),

Operation Gift Cards was started to:
• Thank our wounded or injured troops (personally when possible) for their service to their country and for their sacrifice for freedom.
• Present all visited wounded or injured patients in Walter Reed and Bethesda Military Hospitals with 3 or more “Thank You” kits, each including a $20 gift card enclosed in a specially designed thank you card (with group photo) from the sponsoring chapter, post, or detachment.
• Inform the patients about the free programs the sponsoring organization has developed that help our troops, our veterans, and their families.
• Provide a means for veterans organizations, other groups and individuals to donate items from the “Wish List” of both Family Medical Assistance Program and the Fisher Houses and present them to the patients or mentioned groups.

During the typical monthly Operation Gift Cards visit at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland each of our visited troops, (who were wounded or injured in Iraq or Afghanistan) receive between $60.00 and $120.00 in military store gift cards. The gift cards are enclosed in the thank you kits from 275 representatives of 71 groups and and individuals.
Connecticut veterans participating on Operation Gift Cards have also been delivering, to the wounded, items on the Soldier's Family Assistance Center’s and the Fisher Houses ”Wish List” as listed at bottom of page. We would be glad to deliver any of the wish list items on our monthly visits for anyone donating them.
To participate in Operation Gift Cards or for additional information contact either Al Meadows (203) 929-3357 (e-mail: al.meadows@snet.net). Or read the OGC summary page or the OGC information flyer (both can be downloaded from above in the yellow box). Operation Gift Cards will be an ongoing project; check our Web site for future events and our progress reports.

All items must be NEW & UNUSED for health & safety reasons. They DO NOT accept homemade items for health and safety reasons.
ELECTRONICS: Ipod Touches, Gaming systems such as DS Nintendos or the Portable play station, Portable DVD players (preferably ones that also play CDs), DVDs, Digital alarm clocks, Digital watches, Electric toothbrushes, Electronic games for the Xbox, Wii, DS Nintendo, Portable play station, Lap tops, iPads, Prepaid cell phones and recharge cards.
CLOTHING ITEMS: Bleach markers or Shout sticks, Tennis shoes in a variety of sizes, Clothing in various sizes (but mostly larger) – plain t-shirts, socks, boxers and boxer briefs, pajama pants, slippers, hoodies, rain jackets, winter coats, stocking caps, flip-flops (shower shoes) etc, Breakaway pants and shirts in a variety of sizes, Sports bras in a variety of sizes.
CANTEEN/WELCOME ITEMS: Individually bottled water and soda, Individually packaged chips, cookies, crackers, etc, Candy (they seem to like chocolate and suckers).
GIFT CARDS: International Phone Cards. Recommend major brand (AT&T/Sprint/Verizon) of 300+ min., Gift cards for the NEX, Commissary and any other stores in the area (not Wal-Mart/Kmart as they are very hard to get to), Movie passes, Itunes Cards, Variety of restaurant gift certificates ($40+ each so they can feed more than 1 person).
TOILETRIES: Chap stick, q-tips, Nail clippers, Band aids, etc, Full sized body wash, Shampoo, Conditioner, Lotion in a variety of brands, Boxes of tissues like Kleenex or something else soft, Feminine hygiene products.
OTHER: One golf cart with a top so occupants protected from sun, Sheet Sets - A variety of twin, twin extra long, full and queen sized, Subscriptions to a variety of magazines (suggested: People, Readers Digest, Motorcycles, Smithsonian, outdoor magazines, something for kids/teens, general magazines that won’t offend easily – avoid those about war or guns), small amounts of babyfood, diapers, wipes, etc, Rolling duffel bags, Plain black backpacks, Crossword puzzle and sudoku books.

Representatives from Connecticut veterans groups will hand deliver, each month, any items donated for the wounded troops or their families.

Sponsors are listed at top of this page.
Each Sponsor has purchased a minimum of $1,000.00 in PX gift certificates for the wounded. Several sponsors have purchased over $20,000 in gift certificates. All 71 sponsors have delivered their own unit's thank you kits to the wounded.

Top 9 Co-sponsors (out of 71 co-sponsors) Feb. 2014:
1. CT AMVETS (American Veterans) - $48,500
2. Employees at Sikorsky Aircraft - Stratford Plant - $33,700
Fairfield Firefighters - $31,500
4. Military Order of The Purple Heart Derby/Shelton Chapter 1 - $28,000
5. Marine Corps League Stamford Detachment 910 - $27,000
6. Disabled American Veterans Stamford Chapter 13 - $26,280
7. Disabled American Veterans State Headquarters - $24,000
8. Military Order of The Purple Heart State Headquarters - $16,500
9. Teamster Local 1150 - $15,000

Contributors (Not co-sponsors):

Gold - $1,000 or more
Affinion Group
Hollander Foundation, Inc.
Patrons of Riverside Diner
Patrons of Royal Bakery
Soldiers' Angels
Spectrum Associates, Inc.
Gary Plassman (Vietnam Veteran)
J. Michael Johnson

Silver - $500-$999
Ken Bundy Family
Clayton Holdings, Inc.
Marine Corps League, Housatonic Detachment
Royal Bakery Patrons
Ulbrich Stainless Steel and Speciality Metals, Inc
Union Memorial Church - Stamford

Bronze - $100-$499
Bridgeport Elks Lodge 36
Jack Bass
Bob Chechoski
Connecticut GTO Club
Corvette Club of CT
John and Mary Cox
Huntington VFW Post 10466
Kathleen Downer
Tom Evans
PME Enterprises
Frances Murphy
Richard Volpe
John and Janis Panagrossi
Sixpack - Katherine Pando
James Stutz Paving
Vets Who Care

Honorable Mention - $50-$99
Rich and Susanne Alcott
Robert Farrell
Bob Grier Photography
Paul E. Krasiejko
Claire D. Krohn
Hartford Jewish War Veterans
Wayne and Mary Spinei
Warnaco Industries

Special Thanks to:
Girl Scouts of Connecticut for donating cookies worth over $120,000
Veterans of Foreign Wars Dept.of Connecticut for donating Hallmark greeting cards worth over $31,000
Affinion Group for donating $3,500 in corporate gift certificates (in addition to co-sponsoring one month)
Matt Frovarp and Boy Scout Troop 3, Derby Connecticut. As his Eagle Scout project, Matt collected $16,500 "Wish List" items for distibution to our wounded troops and their families with the assistance of his troop.
CSC (Computer Science Corp.) for donating over 160 laptop computers equiped with web cams which were supplied by the Southington American Legion and other groups.

Site last updated Thursday, November 26, 2015, 10:25 AM