A Story of Compassion, Determination, and the Power of Volunteerism

At the turn of the millennium, Julie, a retired high tech  professional, found herself at a crossroads in life. Initially planning to return to work, she instead embraced her role as a stay-at-home mom and began researching ways to support military kids. Growing up in a military family herself, Julie understood the challenges faced by these children and felt a deep calling to make a difference in their lives.

Answering the call

However, it was the tragic events of 9/11 that ignited a fire within Julie and led her to take action on a larger scale. Inspired by President Bush’s speech, where he declared that the war would be a generational commitment, Julie knew she had to do something more. As she saw the images of the first soldiers deployed, enduring harsh conditions with limited resources, her determination solidified.

From Garage to Greatness

Driven by a sense of purpose, Julie discovered a newspaper article about a group that had started making care packages, and joined the group. Sadly, it dissolved after only a few months, leaving care package inventory behind. Undeterred, she took the inventory to her garage and was determined to get it to troops overseas, with the help Randy Bye, a volunteer with the American Red Cross’s military program. They joined forces, and Julie, Randy and Cookie Crissman co-founded the new organization. Little did they know that this humble beginning would grow into something extraordinary. Operation: Care and Comfort was established in 2003 in San Jose and ran independently under the Silicon Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross, and thrived. OCC grew its volunteer base, supporters and outreach, and began operating as a standalone 501(c)3 organization in 2010.

United by Compassion

Through the years, Julie learned a profound lesson about the spirit of volunteerism. She witnessed firsthand the remarkable generosity and compassion of Americans from all walks of life, united by their desire to support those who serve. Volunteers became her extended family, forming a culture of caring that transcended boundaries of age, political affiliation, nationality, and more.

Unwavering Dedication

Today, Operation: Care and Comfort stands as a testament to their unwavering dedication and the incredible impact of volunteer-driven initiatives. The organization continues to provide essential support and comfort to our service members, thanks to the collective efforts of individuals who lead with their hearts. Together, they embody the universal goal of standing behind those who courageously undertake the difficult work of protecting our nation.

Join us in honoring Operation: Care and Comfort’s inspiring journey and become part of our culture of caring. Together, we can make a meaningful difference in the lives of those who sacrifice so much for our freedom.


America Supports You Homefront Groups Meet With President Bush at the White House February 28, 2007. President thanks groups, including OCC for their support of Troops and Families in the Roosevelt Room.

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