Charity for Charities

Interviews With the Winning Charities

Page 2

American Recreational Military Services (ARMS)

Fifth Place: $300                                                                       255 Votes

What is the mission of American Recreational Military Services and when was it founded?

ARMS (American Recreational Military Services) was founded in March 2003 by a group of American people who wanted to help our military. Our founder Ronnie Micciulla along with a group of us from ARMS had run a Rescue Center in NY during 9/11 and saw first hand what happened, and how much our military needed help. 

Our mission statement states "The we are here to make the quality of life better for all deployed military and their families."  

Tell us three things we probably don’t know about American Recreational Military Services.

We do a lot more than send care packages, as these three examples show.

  1. We have a project each holiday time called Project Little Soldier which supplies 3 holiday gifts to children of deployed military, we also run a food pantry for the spouses.
  2. We also do deployment and homecomings by providing food and beverages to family members while they either say goodbye to their loved ones, or waiting on their return.
  3. In December 2004, we raised $30,000 to send 45 soldiers home from NJ to California for the holidays, so they could say goodbye to their families before they left for Iraq in January 2005. 

What has been the biggest factor in the success of American Recreational Military Services?

I feel the biggest factor in our charities success, is that "we do it because we want to, not because we have to." Everyone gives 100% and loves doing it. thgis generates to others we speak to, and helps us in our endevors.

Share one or two stories about people American Recreational Military Services has helped.

One story about what our charity has done, is we set up a coffee shop in FOB Speciher in Iraq with the 42ndID. We sent the commercial coffee pots, cups, sugar, etc, and kept the coffee shop equipped. During the summer months we sent a slurpee machine to make slushies, and ices. 

Last Christmas, we took 2000 Christmad gifts down to Ft. Campbell, Kentucky to the children of deployed military there. We made the trip from New Jersey in one day, so the children would have the gifts for the holiday. 

How will American Recreational Military Services use the donation from Charity for Charities?

Our organization will use this money to help us ship packages overseas. Every 6 weeks, we ship between 500-600 packages overseas to our military. 

Anything else you’d like to add?

We would just like to thank VAJoe for the opportunity to be able to show America who and what we are. We can always use volunteers, and people can reach us at

Comments By
Ms. Ronnie Micciulla
Director / Founder
American Recreational Military Services (ARMS)

Operation Special Delivery

Sixth Place: $300                                                                      172 Votes

Operation Special Delivery

What is the mission of Operation Special Delivery and when was it founded?

OSD provides volunteer doulas (professional childbirth support professionals) to eligible women who will be giving birth without their partners due to deployment in support of the war on terror or whose partners have been killed or severely injured in the war. The program was started by a doula named Patricia Newton in response to the tragedies of September 11, 2001. In 2005, when the program became too large for one person to manage, Patricia asked CAPPA (Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association) to oversee it.

Tell us three things we probably don’t know about Operation Special Delivery.

  1. We are not privately funded or subsidized by the government or businesses.
  2. Everything that we do is possible because of our volunteers and the work that we do makes a profound difference for families.
  3. Our program has doubled in size in the last year alone.

What has been the biggest factor the success of Operation Special Delivery?

Our wonderful volunteers!

Share one or two stories about people your Operation Special Delivery has helped.

We receive requests literally every day from women who will be alone during childbirth because their husband or partner is deployed. Occasionally we are even contacted by men who are desperate to find help for their wives or partners because they are away at war. It is exceedingly rewarding to be able to give these families a sense of security and hope along with our professional service, which is proven to be beneficial during labor and birth.

How will Operation Special Delivery use the donation from Charity for Charities?

OSD will use the donation to help promote our program to those who are in need and to recruit more volunteers.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Please visit our Operation Special Delivery website for more information. We will be unveiling a new website in the coming months and will also be adding more childbirth and postpartum support specialities to our volunteer offerings.

Coments By

MaryBeth Nance, CD, CLD
CAPPA Director of Operation Special Delivery
Operation Special Delivery

Operation Troop Appreciation

Seventh Place: $200                                                                156 Votes

Operation Troop Appreciation

What is the mission of Operation Troop Appreciation and when was it founded?

Our mission is to ease the burden of deployed troops by providing them with “wish list” items that our troops want, need, or miss from home. We incorporated as a 501c3 non-profit organization in July 2004. Since then, we have provided “wish list” items to more than 27,000 troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, and throughout the Middle East.

Tell us three things we probably don’t know about Operation Troop Appreciation.

  1. President and founder Kristen Holloway received the Presidential Volunteer Service Award from President Bush in March of 2004 for her work with Operation Troop Appreciation.
  2. OTA was also featured in the October 2005 edition of Redbook magazine, and Holloway was one of the 2005 winners of Redbook’s “Mothers and Shakers” award that recognizes women who do grassroots volunteer work.
  3. OTA’s approach to troop support is special, in that we target entire units of deployed troops (e.g., a squad of 10 up to a battalion of 1000) and send enough items so that everyone in that unit either personally receives a gift from OTA (e.g., under armour t-shirt, phone card, personal protection gear, etc.), or receives items that can be shared equitably among all members of the unit (e.g., sports equipment, TVs, video systems, etc.)

What has been the biggest factor in the success of Operation Troop Appreciation?

The incredible generosity of our sponsors, donors and volunteers has been the single largest factor in our success. Without this incredibly gracious network of supporters, OTA would never have made the impact on the lives of our armed forces we are so proud of. Our volunteers are generous with their time and spirit, and our generous financial contributors have ensured that the troops served by OTA receive the support they so richly deserve.

Share one or two stories about people Operation Troop Appreciation has helped.

We are proud to not only work with deployed troop units, but also with trauma hospitals throughout Iraq and Afghanistan. Often, when troops are evacuated from the battlefield, their uniforms must be cut off in the hospitals so their injuries can be treated. Often, the hospitals do not have enough supplies on hand to provide replacement clothing to all of our wounded warriors. So OTA works on a consistent basis with hospitals in need to provide new shirts, shorts, undergarments, socks, slippers, and other needed items our troops need while recovering.

Some of our other heart-warming success stories involve providing needed tactical and safety equipment such as ballistics glasses, fire retardant gloves, water filtration systems and other battle-field critical gear to those in the line of fire who need replacement or supplemental equipment. To know that we have helped explosives disposal units protect their eyesight with ballistics glasses, or give medics better equipment to carry the most critical life saving equipment around with them makes us proud to know we are helping our soldiers not only feel our support, but stay safe until they come home.

How will Operation Troop Appreciation use the donation from Charity for Charities?

The donation from Charity for Charities will enable OTA to continue to provide “wish list” items to our deployed troops. Current requests from our soldiers include air mattresses, under armour t-shirts, phone cards, and other “luxuries” from home that help our troops feel more comfortable and supported. We currently have 1,000 soldiers and marines awaiting their “wishes” from OTA. The requests come in constantly, and this money will enable us to fulfill these “wishes” even faster.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Since our inception in 2004, 98 cents of every donated dollar has gone directly to provide items to our troops. Because we are an all-volunteer organization and we run OTA from the homes of the president and vice president, our overhead expenses are almost non-existent. This enables us to use virtually every cent of every dollar for our troop support projects.

Comments By

Kristen Holloway
Founder / President
Operation Troop Appreciation 

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