A Letter from President & CEO Richard Walden

Dear Friends,


As we begin our 40th year, I sincerely thank you for your continued support of Operation USA.


I know that in today’s world there are many organizations and causes worthy of your attention, involvement and investment, in disaster relief and beyond. As climate change continues to intensify the impact of major weather events on communities around the world, relief needs become greater and recovery processes become longer and more challenging. As technology and social media advance—making our global community smaller—they shine a spotlight on seemingly endless cycles of poverty, marginalization, violence, warfare, disease and disasters, all of which are being combated every day by dedicated humanitarians. New developments in digital storytelling and fundraising make it easy to support these worthy causes, globally and closer to home—but they can also make it challenging to decide where to give and when. There is so much need in the world, and so many ways to help. We at Operation USA are so grateful that you continue to choose to invest in our work.


As we head into the 2018 midterm election cycle, in the midst of a contentious political climate, there will be even more choices to make. We hope that whatever your level of involvement in political giving, you’ll also remain committed to supporting ongoing humanitarian needs here at home and around the world.


During election years, organizations like Operation USA typically experience a significant decrease in overall donations. When faced with less funding, we too are forced to make some tough decisions. This year, the prospect of decreased funding comes at a time when we are responding to more disasters than ever before. Late last year, we experienced an unprecedented string of events close to home. In Texas, Florida, California, Puerto Rico and Mexico your donations have helped tens of thousands of people as they begin to rebuild their homes and their lives. From aiding clean up efforts to bolstering food security to funding programs for vulnerable groups including the elderly, those with disabilities and children, you have made a lasting impact. Now, as we face another season of wildfires, hurricanes and other disasters—all with the potential to be worse than previous years—new threats loom. Your donations are critical to our ability to respond to all these disasters and to continuously improve the lives of those who are impacted throughout the rebuilding process.


Often in our busy news cycle, attention toward disaster relief and recovery quickly fades—though the work continues for many years. This year, in addition to domestic disaster response, your donations helped provide continued support to many recovering communities where we remain active, from Haiti to Nepal to the Philippines. You also helped deliver much-needed supplies to a Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh, and enabled us to send material aid to Syrian refugee children in Jordan–areas where large-scale crises continue to affect millions of lives every day. Disaster recovery is a year-round effort. Your year-round support makes our work possible.


I encourage you to visit us online at OpUSA.org to learn more about the ways in which your support has helped in 2018. There you’ll also find copies of our annual reports and financial statements, alongside updates highlighting our many ongoing projects and programs. After nearly four decades of disaster relief, I could not be more proud of our commitment to remaining agile, keeping overhead low and maximizing the impact of every dollar donated to Operation USA.


In the months and years ahead, we will remain grateful for your support and committed to making you proud of your investment in our work.


Thank you for choosing Operation USA.


Richard Walden
President & CEO