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For the second year in a row, Birchwood Credit Services is pleased to have had the opportunity to thank U.S. Troops, first responders, and others by supporting Operation Gratitude at this year’s New England Mortgage Bankers Conference (NEMBC) hosted by the Massachusetts Mortgage Bankers Association (MMBA).
Everyone here at Birchwood congratulates Phil Tocci of Academy Mortgage on winning the Birchwood raffle in support of the NEMBC Gives Back program. We are delighted to have been able to make a $2,500 donation to Operation Gratitude in Mr. Tocci’s name, and doubly pleased to have been able to make a second, matching donation, bringing the grand total for the charitable contribution to $5,000.
A worthy organization, Operation Gratitude sends more than 200,000 individually addressed care packages annually (more than 1.6 million since they started!), to lift the spirits of U.S. Military personnel, first responders, and others who serve the country. This 501(c)(3) non-profit, volunteer-based corporation is funded entirely by private donations and relies on the generosity of individuals and companies to make sure it can continue to deliver on its mission.
NEMBC launched their NEMBC Gives Back program two years ago, and it immediately became a thematic focus for the team here at Birchwood. Each year, our booth highlights Operation Gratitude, offering not only the raffle, but also a couple hundred Beannie Babies® plush toys, which we invite booth visitors to “deploy” to the neighboring Operation Gratitude booth. The Beannie Babies have long been a staple of the Operation Gratitude care packages. Service men and women stationed around the world and first responders across America often send photos of themselves posing with their Beannie Babies back to Operation Gratitude with words of thanks and stories about how much the care packages and plush mascots brighten their days.
Our own Kathleen Brady, Operation Manager in our North Conway office, has a son currently serving in the United States Air Force. “Being a mom is a choice,” she says. “Being an Air Force mom is a privilege and an honor.” Commenting on Birchwood’s support of Operation Gratitude, she adds, “The level of enthusiasm throughout our staff has been inspiring, especially for me because this organization’s efforts hit close to home. It’s so rewarding working with a group of people who are truly passionate about supporting our men and women in uniform.”