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Recommended for anyone new to this group or volunteering for the first time:
"Operation Gratitude (https://www.operationgratitude.com) annually sends 200,000+ care packages filled with food, entertainment, hygiene, and handmade items, plus personal letters of appreciation to Veterans, First Responders, New Recruits, Wounded Heroes, their Care Givers, and to individually named U.S. service members deployed overseas and their families waiting at home."
Note: Yes, Chatsworth is geographically far for some people, but compared to what service members do (and have done) on our behalf, raising awareness about this event is worthwhile and meaningful. If distance is an issue, maybe coordinate with others for carpooling. If it's still too far, other ways to help include writing cards & letters or knitting scarves & hats.
Important: This is posted in advance, and sometimes they reschedule; so please check their website to confirm this is the correct date and time:
Redundant Reiteration: The most up-to-date, accurate, and current date and time is on their website, so regardless of what this meetup page says, please check their volunteer schedule: http://www.operationgratitude.com/volunteer-information-schedule
Look for the date and time in red font, and click on it to register.
This volunteer event can get pretty busy with many volunteers. Sometimes it may "seem" like there are too many people, but they usually try to get everyone involved with something productive to do.
If anyone wants to help distribute on the assembly line, going early is recommended because it's popular and other volunteers seem to enjoy helping with that, so arriving early may improve one's chances of getting assigned with that role.
If helping with the care packages, sometimes if they have many volunteers, some standing/waiting in line may occur. Thank you for being open-minded and patient.
“Assembly” work includes production of the care packages, labeling, taping, custom forming, letter reading and writing, running packages, re-stocking the lines, breaking down cartons and many other tasks."
"As in the past, we welcome children ages 12 and older; those ages 12-16 must have a responsible adult with transportation on the premises at all times. Due to insurance, liability and safety concerns, we must strictly adhere to these rules–there are no exceptions."
"All volunteers must sign a Release Form (parents/guardians must sign for minor under 18). To download and print, please click here: RELEASE FORM (http://www.operationgratitude.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/0-RELEASEFORM2-revisedOCT20132.pdf)"
Their photos should show what to expect:
More info/details are on their website - http://www.operationgratitude.com/volunteer-information-schedule
The facility is "near the intersection of Lassen St and Variel Ave (between Topanga Canyon Blvd and De Soto Ave; south of the 118 Freeway)."
Plenty of free parking is available.