Operation Help a Hero
OHH's programs are focused on supporting our active duty service members. We do more than offer our words of thanks -- we act and help. Each of our programs address a different facet of military service and each were shaped by military spouses, service members, parents of service members and from feedback from our littlest heroes, their children.
Operation Christmas Spirit spreads the Spirit and joy of Christmas to military families and single service members all over the United States. From family sponsorships, to single service member gifts given in surprise, to toys given to unit Christmas parties to be handed out by Santa to gift cards sent out in aid to families, to volunteers giving their time with the real meaning of Christmas in their hearts-- this project is special. We love this project because Christmas morning we know children and service members all across the country will experience magical moments thanks to the kindness of complete strangers.
Operation Rack Pack is our barracks project designed to prepare a hero's welcome home for those returning from deployment to barracks rooms. We clean, make beds (racks), hang welcome home posters, leave cold drinks, clean towel sets, fresh clothes to lounge in and a bag full of snacks, goodies and toiletries in each room waiting for them. We love this project because we know the power of a message of support from strangers in those first moments home. We also know how their parents who can't be there appreciate that some one is thinking of their sons and daughters.
OHH Baby Showers are our events used to pamper and celebrate new and expecting mothers who have their husband's deployed. We spend an afternoon pampering them, helping them network with one another and celebrating the blessing a child has brought into their lives despite having their spouse deployed. We love this project because these mommies walk in unsure and tentative and they leave relaxed, smiling and glowing. We love this project because the peace of knowing someone is taking care of the people you love is a gift to those deployed too.
OHH Camp JOY is our day long camp for children of deployed service members, but they are more than that-- they are a break for parents on the homefront who often don't have family close by to give them some respite. Volunteers spend the day rotating through fun activities with the kids. We love this project because of the difference we know it makes. When a mom starts the day worried and comes back relaxed and cheerful; when a child with separation anxiety starts the day unsure and cries on the way out because they don't want to leave; when we get to see hundreds of children focused on nothing but having fun for a few hours; when a mom/dad deployed share what a relief it is to see pictures posted of their children smiling; and when we get to see members of the community walking hand in hand with these little heroes --- that's when we know our work matters.
Operation Enduring Support is our program for families in crisis. This is our program you don't hear about much because, when we are able, we help behind the scenes protecting the privacy of those we serve while helping. Occasionally we will reach out to the public when the need is great and we need to get more support, but when you give and say "where needed most" just know that you are likely helping a family in crisis through this program. We love this program because we know we do our best work when no one is looking. We love this program because we know kindness leaves a lasting mark well beyond the tangible help we are able to give, and in the military community, we know that kindness will be paid forward some day.