A Letter from President & CEO Richard Walden

Download and/or print a copy of this letter here.

October 6, 2021

Dear Friends,

2021 has been another challenging year.

Last Fall, I wrote you of our unprecedented disaster response efforts in the face of the global COVID-19 pandemic, ever-worsening disasters and a contentious series of political campaigns. I thank you for your generous response to that plea for support. Your donations are truly the fuel in our “little ship,” enabling us to continue delivering relief aid where it’s needed most. We’re so grateful for your continued support and investment in our mission.

Your gifts in 2020 empowered us to deliver more than 1.5 million protective masks and hundreds of thousands of units of other PPE to communities struggling to combat the COVID-19 pandemic—several of which were simultaneously responding to natural disasters. You helped us equip partners in California’s wildfire zones with emergency supplies, in explosion-impacted Lebanon with recovery aid and in rural El Salvador with much-needed essentials. Your donations also enabled us to provide cash grants to many partners—primarily those helping at-risk youths and BIPOC—across the U.S. In 2021, we’ve doubled down on our commitment to serving pandemic-impacted communities—especially those that are now grappling with the impact of major disasters, including hurricanes along the Gulf Coast, earthquakes in Mexico and Haiti, and wildfires all along our west coast—with materials and funding.

As I reflect on all that we have accomplished in the past year, I am proud of Operation USA’s staff, partners and supporters for their unwavering commitment to helping the world’s most over-looked and under-served populations—despite the many challenges that come with taking on this work. When I look ahead to all that remains to be done, however, I’m quickly sobered by the scale of it.

Every day, everywhere, urgent needs persist. In many corners of the world, particularly where refugee crises have flared up, those needs are ever-increasing. Humanitarian nonprofits are now more than ever desperately sought after to improve conditions for families impacted by natural disasters, poverty, war, violence and the ongoing pandemic. Here at home, our community-based partners continue to serve some of the hardest-hit populations, even as new roadblocks develop and resources are increasingly hard to come by. OpUSA—with more than four decades’ experience in disaster relief—is well-positioned to meet these calls for help—but we can’t do it without you.

If ever there was a time to consider increasing your investment in humanitarian relief efforts, it’s today. I’m sure you are reminded of this fact whenever you read or watch the news, and I understand that it is often overwhelming—especially as you have many opportunities to support nonprofits and other causes. After 42 years in the field, OpUSA remains committed to maximizing the impact of every dollar you donate. We work diligently to ensure that our overhead remains low, and that every material aid shipment we deploy and every grant we make directly improves lives, bolsters communities and, most importantly, provides hope for the future. I hope this inspires you to entrust your hard-earned dollars with us.

When you donate to Operation USA your donations directly help some of our world’s most vulnerable children and families, not only meeting current needs but also building resiliency for a better future. We look forward to putting your investment to work in the year ahead, as we strive to make you proud to be an OpUSA supporter.

Thank you for your continued generosity.

Richard Walden
President & CEO