FAQs

What is OTA?

Incorporated as a Pennsylvania non-profit on July 1, 2004, Operation Troop Appreciation (OTA) is an organization that demonstrates a united front of appreciation to our Armed Forces Past and Present. We are a tax exempt non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.

What does OTA do?

OTA provides support through 2 programs:
Through our Active Duty “Wish-list” program, we work with military units, from squads to companies to battalions, and provide “wish list” items specifically requested by the troops in the field. These “wish list” items are intended to help ease the burden of deployment and are presented to the troops as symbols of our appreciation, support and encouragement.
We establish a point of contact within each deployed battalion to whom all items are shipped. This person is instructed to distribute the items equitably among the soldiers.
In addition to sending these items, OTA also sends letters to each unit, expressing gratitude for their daily service and sacrifice. A committee of OTA volunteers continues to correspond with any soldier who wishes to keep in touch.
Our “Welcome Home” program fills a gap in support our veteran community receives today, by helping to prevent homelessness and provide a “hand-up” for our veterans experiencing poverty today. Working with the VA Healthcare for Homeless Veterans program and the Veterans Leadership Program, “Welcome Home” provides support for veterans in need by helping to defray the costs associated with establishing a new home.
Our culture has a tradition of providing “house warming” gifts to friends and families moving into a new home. OTA extends this tradition, by providing gifts that help veterans and their families establish residence. We all know that moving into a new home can be stressful and costly. In the case of our homeless veterans, they enter new homes with only the clothes on their backs. A critical component of their full recovery and transition into civilian life is that they be healthy, rested and comfortable. To that end, OTA provides these families with a good bed and mattress, and essential household items to give them the best possible environment in which to live.

Why doesn’t the government provide these items?

OTA provides items that are intended to supplement government and military issued supplies. Many of our troops live on remote outposts with limited access to supplies due to combat activity and location. We have identifeid gaps in services that our returning veterans receive, and in both cases, OTA strives to provide the items these brave men and women need most.

Is this a political organization?

OTA is not affiliated with any political party and believes patriotism and support of our troops should extend beyond political lines and personal feelings of military involvement. OTA is a non-partisan organization focused on the INDIVIDUAL and is not focused on or involved with politics or foreign policy.

Who does OTA help?

Our Active Duty program provides items to thousands of troops fighting terrorism in Iraq, Afghanistan, Horn of Africa, and throughout the Middle East. We work with Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines serving as Active Duty, Reserves, and National Guard.
Our Welcome Home program provides support to veterans who have served and are currently residing in Western Pennsylvania. We help veterans who have served in all conflicts, from Viet Nam to the current war against terror.
A list of troops who have benefited from OTA can be found at Our Projects page.

What happens to my donation dollars?

We are a 100% volunteer, non-profit organization, so virtually all money is used to fund our troop and veteran support programs. Since 2004, 98.5 cents of every donated dollar has been used to support these programs. There is no paid staff, and we have very little overhead. This means the money we raise is used to buy and deliver items to our troops and veterans. A copy of our IRS Form 990 and financial statements can be obtained by sending a request to info@216.92.116.215.

Can you give me the address of a soldier to write to?

To protect the privacy and safety of our deployed troops, OTA does not release troop names or addresses. If you’d like to write to a soldier through our organization, you may send your unsealed cards and letters to us for inclusion in packages we send. We will inspect this mail prior to sending to our troops to ensure the message is appropriate.

If you’d like to improve the chances of soldiers writing back to you, consider including writing paper in a self-addressed envelope, or a self-addressed postcard.

You may send cards and letters to:

Operation Troop Appreciation
PO Box 18052
Pittsburgh, PA 15236

Can I donate care package items (hygiene, snacks, etc.) and have you send them over for me?

Needs for and access to these basic supplies vary by location of the deployed troops. While we do not accept packages intended for specific soldiers, nor incur the shipping charges for private packages, we do accept donations of the items OTA sends to the soldiers who have asked for our help. OTA provides items that are specifically requested by the troops, and we work with local churches, schools, civic groups and individuals who wish to conduct collection drives for needed items. If you are interested in conducting a collection drive, please contact us at info@OperationTroopAppreciation.org

We also accept donations of new or gently used DVDs, CDs, PlayStation and Xbox systems and video games, as well as unused AT&T phone cards.

You may send these items to:

Operation Troop Appreciation
PO Box 18052
Pittsburgh, PA 15236

Do you provide care packages for individual soldiers?

OTA specializes in helping entire units of deployed Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guard. We are currently unable to fulfill requests for individual troop members.

How can I sign up my deployed unit to receive items from OTA?

Deployed troop members can Click here to submit a “wish list” request form.

How can I volunteer?

If you are interested in becoming an OTA volunteer, please contact us at info@OperationTroopAppreciation.org

How can I help?

We are a grassroots organization that relies on word of mouth to publicize our cause. Please tell your friends, family, and colleagues about our organization and our need for funds. Make a donation if you can! All donations are tax-exempt to the fullest extent allowed by law.

We are in need of individual donors, and corporate and small business sponsors to help make our organization a success. Won’t you help us help the troops?

You may donate by sending your check made payable to:

Operation Troop Appreciation
PO Box 18052
Pittsburgh, PA 15236

You may also make a secure online donation here