New this year is a special event that kicks off the PEI Convention Give Back Initiative supporting Operation Gratitude, an organization that sends care packages and personal letters of appreciation to individual soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines and coast guardsmen deployed in harm’s way.
Operation Gratitude's mission is twofold: "To lift the spirits and meet the evolving needs of the U.S. Military and First Responder communities and to provide volunteer opportunities for Americans to express their appreciation to all who serve our nation."
Here's how you can participate:
Help set the stage by donating to the PEI Foundation, which will then direct all collected funds to Operation Gratitude for the purchase of items to go into the kits PEI members will assemble.
Give with your time and effort by writing a letter of appreciation and/or helping to assemble care packages on-site in Las Vegas. Materials for this will be provided. Visit the PEI 1-on-1 Pavilion, located in room N109-N110 at the LVCC during the times listed below to participate. As a side benefit, this will be a great time to network with fellow PEI member volunteers!
SUNDAY, PEI WOMEN SESSION, 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m., LVCC, N109-N110 (You do not have to be a member of PEI Women to attend. However, you must be female and registered for Convention. Find out more about the PEI Women program.)
MONDAY, PEI 1-on-1 PAVILION, Noon - 4:00 p.m., LVCC, N109-N110
TUESDAY, PEI 1-on-1 PAVILION, Noon - 3:00 p.m., LVCC, N109-N110
We also would like to honor all those military veterans who are attending this year's Convention. Are you a veteran?
Need some videos to see what this is all about?
Saying Thank You - See the story behind Operation Gratitude and how the organization was founded in 2003.
Operation Gratitude’s Mission - Check out what an Assembly Day looks like at their Forward Operating Base, as hundreds of volunteers help pack Care Packages at one of their bi-monthly Assembly Days.
Since its inception in 2003, Operation Gratitude’s 350,000+ volunteers send on average more than 250,000+ Care Packages every year. In addition to deployed service members, Operation Gratitude sends care packages to their children (who receive special "Battalion Buddy" stuffed animals) and military families left behind, new recruits upon their graduation from bootcamp, wounded heroes and their caregivers, and first responders on the frontlines here at home. The group also sends kits to veterans of earlier eras under the banner: “It is never too late to say ‘Thank You.'”
Operation Gratitude embraces supporters in every state. Scout troops, religious congregations, senior citizen centers, homeowner associations, places of business, civic groups and schools from nursery through graduate programs are some of the communities that join the mission.