Operation Yellow Ribbon; a PJ inspired non-profit to boost morale of our Brave women/men in uniform



  • armyfanarmyfan Posts: 278
    Thank you to all of our veterans today. Thank you to all who are currently serving our country. None of us would be where we are without your contributions. Go army, navy, air force, marines, coast guard, reserves, etc!!!!!!!!!! Thank you.
  • cutzcutz Posts: 6,232
    edited December 2016

    GREAT work Dave!!

    I don't think the link stays up for more the 24 hours, so:

    To the troops, with care, from Operation Yellow Ribbon

    For several years, Operation Yellow Ribbon of South Jersey has tirelessly shown its support for U.S. troops stationed in the war-torn Middle East by sending them care packages and giving them a warm welcome home when they finally return from deployment.

    For the nonprofit organization’s volunteers, it’s the least they can do to show their thanks for the sacrifices soldiers make to secure the freedoms Americans enjoy.

    “We don’t forget,” said Dave Silver, Operation Yellow Ribbon's co-founder and president.

    Silver pointed out that U.S. troops have been stationed in Afghanistan for more than 15 years and in Iraq for more than 13 years.

    “These guys and girls are now on seven, eight, nine deployments over that time,” he said. “It’s a toll.”

    Operation Yellow Ribbon is actually an offshoot of the Yellow Ribbon Club, founded in 2005 by former Evesham resident Leslie Drummond and a group of neighbors who wanted to show support for her son and his Army unit, which was then stationed in Iraq. In 2012, Drummond and her husband decided to pass the torch onto the numerous other groups that had formed for a similar purpose.

    It was then that a handful of Yellow Ribbon Club volunteers, including Silver, also an Evesham resident, decided to continue the Drummonds’ positive vibe. Operation Yellow Ribbon was created.

    “Every year, more and more people realize the purpose of what we’re doing,” Silver said. “It makes so many people feel good to be part of it that each year it just gets bigger and bigger.”

    The nonprofit partners with the Warriors' Watch Riders and other patriotic groups as well as local first responders and municipal organizations to provide a “rock star” welcome home for soldiers returning from active duty in the Middle East. The celebration usually features firetrucks, a motorcycle escort, and a crowd of flag-waving supporters.

    The group also collects donated items year round for its care packages, in response to the numerous requests it receives on a regular basis from troops and their friends and families. The items are shipped directly to the soldiers.

    “We always thought how nice it would be to get your own piece of mail while you’re in harm’s way, away from your loved ones,” Silver said.

    Operation Yellow Ribbon ships care packages two to three times every week. Last year, it spent nearly $40,000 on shipping costs and about the same amount on buying care package items when donations were low. In 2015, the group sent just over 50,000 pounds of packages, a significant jump from its first year, when 33,000 pounds were shipped. The organization has already surpassed last year’s amount.

    “The support in the area, through businesses, through schools, churches, synagogues, youth groups, Scouting groups, it’s just mind-boggling how everybody just gets on board,” Silver said. “It just keeps growing. It’s just amazing.”

    Silver said social media has played a huge part in the growth of Operation Yellow Ribbon's outreach. It has become a forum for the group to market itself, as well as to communicate recipients' gratitude for their care packages.

    Silver said he would love for Operation Yellow Ribbon to be taken under the wing of a corporate sponsor, which would provide him with the funds and time to focus more on marketing its mission. Even more appealing to Silver would be seeing the group’s efforts come to an end.

    “That would mean that everybody’s home,” he said. “That’s the end game I want.”

    Post edited by cutz on
  • hedonisthedonist standing on the edge of foreverPosts: 17,530
    Awesome and uplifting read :)
  • elwayvedderelwayvedder South JerseyPosts: 7,495
    Thanks @cutz . That was nice of you to share!
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