A Letter from OpUSA President and CEO Richard Walden
Operation USA has come a long way since that first airlift to aid struggling Vietnamese refugees more than 37 years ago.
As ever-worsening humanitarian crises continue plague the world around us—from natural disasters to violence and warfare to endemic poverty—we strive every day to meet the needs of under-served and overlooked communities both here at home and abroad. Since 1979, we’ve delivered over $400 million to 100 countries. Humanitarians like you make this meaningful work possible.
This past year, OpUSA celebrated many happy milestones. In the Philippines, we proudly looked on as the first graduating class at Ngolos Honeywell Elementary School—rebuilt after Typhoon Haiyan devastated the coastal community of Guiuan—received their diplomas. With a safe space to learn and grow, students there are thriving. In Nepal, we broke ground on a new school construction project in Fyakse, in the Dhading district. The school, set to open early in 2017, will serve more than 340 students who were impacted by major earthquakes in the country last year. In Haiti, we continued to support the feeding program at Ecole Nationale Jacob Martin Henriquez, giving more than 600 students a daily hot meal—the nutritional and educational benefits of which are countless. We’ve always said that education is the cornerstone of sustainable development, and your support of these programs continues to better the lives of children worldwide every day.
Delivering funds and material aid in the wake of natural disasters also remains a core component of Operation USA’s work, and this past year we supported relief efforts in Ecuador after multiple earthquakes devastated the country. In June, we made a grant to partner organization All Hands Volunteers, and recently their team completed the first of eleven homes to be rebuilt in the Manabi Province with funding from OpUSA donors. Mariela Lopez Velez and her daughters, Ashley and Keisha, are the first family to move into their brand new home. Now, with a safe, permanent roof over their heads, they can focus on rebuilding their lives and moving forward with recovery after losing everything six months ago. Your donations are still being put to work as homes are erected so ten more families, like the Velezes, can begin to rebuild their lives.
We also celebrated this year the launch of a brand new cross-cultural program aimed at uniting youth from Louisiana, South Dakota and Haiti. Project Re:Verb utilizes digital media to connect participating youth with one another in order to learn and teach each other about their lives and the strength of their communities. This new initiative hopes to create lasting change for youth whose lives have been disrupted by endemic poverty and disasters—helping them develop key leadership and critical thinking skills to successfully navigate into adulthood. With support from donors like you, we will expand this program to additional communities in the years ahead.
As we look ahead to the end of year giving season and beyond, we hope you’ll help us reach new milestones with a donation today. Now more than ever, as a historic election cycle draws both vital media attention and much-needed funding away from humanitarian causes, Operation USA needs your support.
When you donate to Operation USA, you ensure our continued success in helping deserving children and families around the world recover and thrive.
President & CEO