Operation Gratitude collection drive ends soon as Military Appreciation Month comes to a close

Published: May. 26, 2023 at 3:52 PM CDT
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KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) - Navy Federal Credit Union branches and KWTX’s Operation Gratitude collection drive is coming to a close in a few days, but there is still more room in the donation boxes to fill.

One of the Killeen branches of Navy Federal is honoring “RED Friday,” which stands for Remember Everyone Deployed. Employees hope people will remember those military service members overseas by swinging by the office with donations.

“In addition to collecting items for Operation Gratitude...we are also thinking of those who are deployed year-round,” Branch Manager, Jeff Pace, said.

Central Texans can donate entertainment items like fidget spinners, small games, puzzles and crosswords. They can also donate fun socks as well.

Operation Gratitude is a national nonprofit that sends care packages to military service members who are overseas.

“It’s all making those service members feel valued and appreciated to let them know that we have not forgotten about them and we care and we haven’t forgotten about their service,” Kenyatta Davis, a member service representative for Navy Federal in Killeen.

Employees at Navy Federal have deep connections with those who are deployed or have been deployed many times.

“I think it’s important that we let them know that we are thinking about them, letting them know that their a piece of us back home,” Lisa Ramos, who is a member service at Navy Federal in Killeen.

She said it is important to make sure that those serving our country know that we appreciate them and are supporting them.

The drive ends Wednesday, May 31, and many more donations are needed. Branches will be closed on memorial day but are open Saturday, Tuesday and Wednesday during normal business hours to donate.

The following are donation drop-off locations: