Operation Teddy Bear, which started in 2012 as an initiative of Harris Jewelry, continues in support of our military, both at home and abroad through the sale of uniformed teddy bears. Teddy Bears representing all branches of the military can be purchased for $15.00 at www.operationtroopaid.org or www.mybuddybears.com. To date, Operation Teddy Bear has raised over $100,000 to help Operation Troop Aid, a 501(c)3 organization, send care packages to deployed personnel and sponsor events for military families and communities.
“As our men and women in uniform are deployed all over the world, let us not forget our freedom, for it is because of them, past, present, and future that we can live free,” says Operation Troop Aid executive director Mark Woods. “What better way to express our FREEDOM than to reach out to the ones that provide it. Please help us as we let them know they are NOT FORGOTTEN.”
Woods, who was often a coordinator of onboard entertainment, was deployed during the horrific attacks of 9/11 and watched with his shipmates as the second plane hit the World Trade Center. Following the attack, Woods was assigned and worked as the assistant coordinator to the Garth Brooks onboard concert, which became a national television special. The experience was extremely enlightening and inspired Woods to begin Operation Troop Aid, which utilizes music and entertainment to raise funds for charitable military support.
Since its inception, Operation Troop Aid has garnered the support of music celebrities across multiple genres, from KISS to Toby Keith and Cheap Trick to Charlie Daniels. Operation Troop Aid’s mission is to make a positive difference and inspire deployed U.S. service members by letting them know America stands with them. Operation Troop Aid provides care packages and bill assistance with revenue generated through professional concert promotions, entertainment initiatives and public financial generosity.