Being an active member of the community is an important value for BGE HOME, whether that means sponsoring local sports teams, organizing employee volunteer days, or participating in community events. So this year, at our annual employee meeting, we took our commitment to the community one step further by hosting our first-ever all-employee volunteer activity. We partnered with Operation Gratitude to pack care packages for our troops overseas, and had a great time as a team with a hands-on and heart-felt event.
Operation Gratitude Care Package Program
When it came time to select a nonprofit that all employees would enjoy volunteering with, Operation Gratitude was a natural fit. Operation Gratitude is a nonprofit, volunteer-based organization that sends care packages and letters of support to deployed troops as well as to new recruits, veterans, military families, first responders, wounded heroes and caregivers.
Kevin Schmiegel, the CEO of Operation Gratitude, explains, “The mission of Operation Gratitude is twofold: the first part of our mission is to lift the morale and spirits of our military and first responder communities. The second part of our mission is to allow every American the opportunity to show their appreciation for those who serve.”
According to the organization, over two million care packages have been sent so far. Each care package is hand assembled by volunteers. Items in the packages include handmade scarves and hats, stuffed animals, toiletries, books, puzzles, as well as handwritten notes from the volunteers who assembled them.
Care Package Assembly
In just a few short hours, BGE HOME employees joined together to assemble 3,000 Operation Gratitude care packages for deployed troops. The care packages included razors, razor gel, toothbrushes, toothpaste, towelettes, powder, emery boards, lotion, hot compresses and thank you cards. Every member of our team also signed their name to the 3,000 thank you cards that were included in the packages. Many employees wrote personal notes to the troops on the cards. For example, one card read, “Thank you for your service to our country. We appreciate everything you do!”
BGE HOME Supports Our Troops and Veterans
We are proud that we have quite a few veterans at BGE HOME. Bruce Kremer, a Vietnam veteran and also an Energy and Comfort Consultant, spoke during the event about his experiences receiving care packages and introduced the volunteer activity. He explained, “I was excited to hear that we were doing that [partnering with Operation Gratitude], having been a recipient of many care packages [myself]. It’s nice to know people back home care.” Bruce further expressed in his speech how it was an honor to be able to assemble care packages for troops so he could return the favor of those who had given him care packages when he was deployed.
During the event, BGE HOME employees expressed their gratitude in being able to assemble the packages and give back to those who serve and show that they care. John Sparrow, a BGE HOME Commercial HVAC Service technician and Marine Corp Veteran expressed, “There’s a whole lot more to it than giving them a care package. It’s letting them know someone cares. So even if it’s just in the card to say, ‘Thank you for your service,’ it means a lot.”
Check out the video from the event and see our team in action.