Operation Grateful Hearts hosts fall fundraiser for deployed troops and their families

Posted at 1:28 PM, Oct 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-21 15:28:22-04

Operation Grateful Hearts is a 100 percent volunteer run non-profit, they raise money to send care packages to troops overseas while also helping out their families here at home.

This weekend Operation Grateful Hearts hosts their fall fundraiser where they will sell pumpkins, have a raffle and help families of the Idaho National Guard fill the box.

"Our pumpkins range from a dollar to eight dollars and the eight dollar ones are like 40 pounds," said Wendy Jo Ackley of Operation Grateful Hearts. "We have some big ones this year."

The fundraiser happens at 2957 East Fairview Avenue in Meridian, the former Snake River Yamaha building and it will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

It's an important year for Operation Grateful Hearts with the 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat team of the Idaho National Guard currently deployed to the Middle East, this fundraiser will go to helping 150 of those families during Christmas.

"We want to love on those families that have their loved ones gone during the holidays," said Ackley. "We want to show them we are supporting them while they are gone and that their families are taken care of."

A family of a deployed soldier started Operation Fill the Box and Operation Grateful Hearts and other organizations are helping with this initiative to send 1,050 care packages to the troops down range.

"We want to remind them of home and let them know we are back here thinking about them," said Ackley. "We are taking monetary donations, we are taking games, books, snacks and anything Idaho that will remind them of home.

Grasmick Produce donated 600 pumpkins to the cause at the last minute after the normal donor wasn't able to because the heat ruined their crop of pumpkins.

Rave Laundry is allowing Operation Grateful Hearts to use the building providing an indoor space in case of inclement weather, D & B Supply provided the hay bales and Team Mazda donated a car for the raffle.

“They are very significant donations, we couldn’t do this without them," said Ackley. That brings everything together and enables us to help families through out the year."