A Letter from President & CEO Richard Walden: Fall 2022

September 12, 2022

Dear Friends,

As the late Secretary of State Madeleine Albright once said: “To put it mildly, the world is a mess.”

We here at OpUSA know all too well just how vast and urgent pervasive global needs are in 2022. More than two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with ongoing refugee crises in Yemen and Syria and continued drought and famine across Africa, as earthquakes, floods, fires, tornadoes and hurricanes repeatedly devastate communities worldwide, and while the United States enters yet another contentious election cycle—“mess” is indeed putting it mildly. Still, with your support, we remain optimistic that we can do our part to improve the human condition.

Throughout the last year, even as natural and man-made disasters occurred more frequently and worsened conditions for vulnerable communities around the globe, Operation USA remained committed to providing aid to as many communities as funding and supplies allow. We are proud of this commitment, and are so grateful for your investments in our work, which make our relief and recovery efforts possible.

In recent months, your generous donations to OpUSA enabled us to send $385,000 (with more soon to follow) to partners aiding Ukrainian refugees whose lives were suddenly and completely upended when Russia invaded the country. Your donations also enabled OpUSA to provide vital construction support to a village in Sri Lanka, and to ship much-needed supplies to partners in Central America. You also helped us provide meaningful emergency support to partners here at home—in the Midwest, grappling with devastating floods, and in California, facing another devastating fire season.

Our corporate partners also play a valuable role in improving lives and livelihoods in the face of ongoing challenges. We are so thankful for companies like Reckitt, maker of Lysol, and USC’s Institute on Inequalities in Global Health—whose generous donation of millions of sanitizing wipes expanded OpUSA’s capacity for bolstering local community partners, protecting the health and safety of families across Southern California. Beyond your personal giving, we also encourage you to think about how you might inspire your employer or business partners to pursue opportunities in philanthropy, of which there are many.

Operation USA, while working diligently to meet as many needs in as many places as possible, is only as effective as the support we receive. Without regular donations from humanitarians like you—both for specific programs and unrestricted operational funding—we would not be able to deploy much-needed relief and recovery aid to partners demonstrating urgent needs. Likewise, the more funding we receive from donors like you, the more we are able to accomplish by scaling programs and responding in more areas with unique logistical challenges. Every dollar donated to Operation USA helps us support disaster-impacted communities with emergency funding, better access to health care, more education resources, improved access to food and water, relevant material aid and equipment, programs supporting women, children and families, and disaster preparedness. Can we count on you for another donation today?

As we enter the Midterm election season here in the United States, and prepare for the busy end-of-year giving season, we understand you may be overwhelmed by the volume of fundraising appeals you are receiving. Regardless of what happens in our socio-political climate in the coming months, we know one thing to be irrefutably true: disasters will never stop happening, they will only continue to get worse. The necessity of your generous support for small organizations like ours is ever-increasing. We hope you will donate to Operation USA—or other NGOs—as much as you are able. Together, we can go far in tidying up this “mess” and improving resiliency for communities everywhere, providing relief and hope to those who need it most.

I hope you’ll visit us here online at opusa.org regularly for detailed updates on the strategic preparedness and recovery programs OpUSA is facilitating and the importance of your donations in making those programs possible. We stand firm in our promise to ensure that every dollar you choose to donate has maximum impact.

Thank you for your continued support.


Richard Walden
President & CEO