Operation Help A Hero
Providing for those who serve at home and abroad


Operation Help A Hero
 Operation Help A Hero is an IRS approved 501 (c) (3) public charity dedicated to the well-being and care of our American military members. Our programs support military units and families as they prepare for separation, while they endure the challenges of deployment, and as they transition back to the US. Our projects uplift our military heroes and send a clear message of support to their entire family. Operation Help A Hero connects communities with service members and provides real opportunities to make a difference in the lives of those who serve our country. We are an all volunteer organization. All board members and directors volunteer their time to focus all donations on our projects and the military heroes they serve.  Every cent contributed to Operation Help A Hero is used to serve our military community, and every project is based on real needs

     Donate now through PayPal           

or through Network for Good

Please note that Network for Good donations are paid out to OHH on the 15th of every month. Paypal donations are received immediately.                                                                             

       Click here for a one-page overview of Operation Help a Hero's work for military heroes and our mission statement. 
       What does OHH do for military families? Click here for an overview.
All donations made for our projects are directly made to Operation Help a Hero in support of the units we commit to serving. No military units solicit for donations or participate in fundraising  for our projects. We serve THEM not vice versa. 
To sign up for our monthly e-nnouncements with volunteer opportunities and ways to help, near or far, fill out the form at the bottom of this page.

To volunteer for the events below, please contact our volunteer coordinator, Cindy, at cfarnum@operationhelpahero.com 

June 2014:
  • 8th: OHH Baby Shower for 1/5 and 3/5 -- At Mariners Ocean Hills!
July 2014:
  • 26th: Storage OHHverhaul-- at our RSM storage 8am-noon
August 2014:
  • Fundraising to benOHHfit Operation Help a Hero challenge
September 2014: 
  • 27th: OHH Camp JOY for 1/5 and 3/5
October 2014:
  • Operation Rack Pack for 1/5
November 2014:
  • Operation Rack Pack for 3/5
December 2014:
  • Operation Christmas Spirit 2014
June 2015: 
  • OHH Baby Shower for 2/5
September 2015: 
  • OHH Camp JOY for deployed units
November 2015:
  • Operation Rack Pack for 2/5


Learn more about our new program 
OHH Camp JOY. 

Deployment doesn't take a break, but parents,operating as "deployment single" parents, need one. Spouses of our active duty military force shoulder the burden of keeping the homefires burning , often doing everything for 6-12 months a time with no family near by to support them. OHH Camp JOY is our answer to this ever-present need. We provide a 5 hour block of fun for kids with deployed parents, and Mom/Dad gets a much needed break.
NEXT OHH CAMP JOY: Fall 2014, Tentatively September 27th

To volunteer for this and our other events, simply click on the volunteer sign up tab on the top of this page. 

Operation Rack Pack
OHH's Operation Rack Pack Project works to welcome home young, single service members as they return from deployment to barracks rooms. Our goal is to leave each hero sentiments of appreciation, toiletries, towels, drinks, snacks and more waiting in the rooms. We hope when they arrive home, their rooms will feel like home and they will see-- loud and clear-- that they are appreciated.

Upcoming projects:

1.  Operation Rack Pack for 650 1/4
Project date: April 19th, 9am-2pm
2.  Operation Rack Pack for  650 BLT 3/1
Project date: March 14th, 12-3pm
3. Operation Rack Pack for 650 3/7 Marines and Sailors
Project date: Spring 2014
4.  Operation Rack Pack for 1,000+ 13th MEU, VMM 166 and CLB 13
Project date: April 19th, 9am-2pm
5.  Operation Rack Pack for 650 2/5
Project date: May 5th, 11am-3pm  and May 10th, 9am-1pm

Please email Cindy Farnum at cfarnum@operationhelpahero.com to sign up to volunteer or involve your school, business or group.  
Want to help us prepare for upcoming barracks projects? We could use your help!
  • Sign up to volunteer for one of our grocery store drives
  • Host a door-to-door drive in your neighborhood. Click here for a sample door-to-door flyer you can use to reach out to your neighbors in support of this project.
  • Help us collect a specific item on our wish list... have a poster making party, host a new and gently used DVD drive, a pillows for patriots drive, etc.
  • Host a BBQ or party this summer and ask each guest to bring an item from our wish list.
  • Start a letter writing campaign... of thanks. Try to get everyone you know to write a welcome home and thank you letter for us to include in our gift bags.
  • Start collecting gently used men's magazines (no older than 3 months please). Sports Illustrated and Men's Health are favorites.
  • Host a yard sale and donate proceeds to OHH to purchase needed items.
THANK YOU to the following schools who hosted drives for ORP this school year: Ladera Ranch Elementary School, Oso Grande Elementary School, St. Margarets, Saddleback Valley Christian, Aliso Viejo Christian, Laguna Hills High School, Las Flores Middle, Robinson Elementary, Santa Margarita Catholic High School, Arroyo Vista Elementary, Valencia Elementary and St. Johns Episcopal School.
click here to see a list of companies, groups, schools and individuals who generously donated their time and resources to our 3/4 project. THANK YOU!
In 2011, OHH welcomed home over 4,400 Marines and Sailors from deployment through this important project thanks to people like you!  
In 2012, we've welcomed home 5,878 Marines and Sailors local to SoCal. 

Operation Christmas Spirit 2013 Unit Recipients Announced!

Thanks to generous donors and very special volunteers, we served 103 families through Operation Christmas Spirit from Camp Pendleton, Fort Hood, 29 Palms, Forth Benning, 63rd Troop Command in Michigan, Yuma,  a Soldier on medical hold in Virginia, 3 wounded warriors, 2 unit Christmas parties, 300 children and 100+ Single Marines and Sailors this Christmas. The Spirit of Christmas was indeed alive in 2013, and we look forward to more in 2014!

And the units selected were: 1/1, 2/1, 3/1, 1/4, 1/5, 2/5, 3/5, 2/4, 5th Marine HQ, 1st LAR, 1st Recon, 3/7, 13th MEU HQ. 6 additional families chosen based in need. 

We work hard to make their Christmas wish lists a reality.
And we are only able to do this thanks to people like you!
The families who benefit from our annual OCS drives are identified by leadership in chosen, deploying units as those who could use Christmas assistance OR  the command feels they deserve a special thanks. 

10 Ways YOU can support a  military family next holiday season:

1. "Adopt" a family with your group, school or business. Email "adoption" coordinator, Kristen Lanham at kristenlanham@me.com
2. Purchase a wish list item from our Angel Tree OR host an angel tree of your own. Contact our Angel Tree coordinator, Cindy Farnum at cfarnum@operationhelpahero.com 
3. Donate gift cards for families to purchase their own Christmas gifts and needed items. 
4. Donate toys for children ages 1-12.
5. Make and donate handmade holiday goodies -- blankets, crafts, ornaments, cookies, etc. for us to add into our Christmas baskets.
6. Assemble and create holiday craft kits for families to assemble together. 
7. Donate online (link at top of page) with a note for OCS, and we'll do shopping for you.
8. Donate gifts families can use together -- games, movie tickets, amusement park tickets, photo sessions, etc.
9. Donate your services and talents -- hair stylists, photographers, self defense lessons, etc.
10. Donate a holiday meal -- box up and decorate goods for a family to cook up a holiday meal of their own or donate grocery gift cards.


OHH would like to thank 5th Marines, St. John's School and the City of Rancho Santa Margarita for graciously hosting gift delivery and pick-up sites. 

We would also like to thank Tutto Fresco, Bagel and Brew and Judy Wagner for the wonderful food spreads at all 3 pick ups. 




OHH Baby! 
(Operation Help A Hero) Baby Showers
Help Us Pamper and Unite New and Expecting Mommies During Their Deployment 

NEXT BABY SHOWER: for 1/5 and 3/5 on June 8th! 
We are now taking volunteers for our  Baby Shower on June 8th  from 12:30-3:30 at Ocean Hills Mariners Church
Click here to go to our OHH Baby Shower Page
Want to "adopt" your own mommy? Contact OHH's Baby Shower co- Coordinator,  Laura Hopper: laurahopper1027@gmail.com
To volunteer your time or talents for our OHH Baby showers, contact OHH Baby's shower co-Coordinator, Cindy Farnum at cfarnum@operationhelpahero.com
Items we could ALWAYS use for our
 OHH baby showers:
  •  Diapers and wipes (sizes newborn through size 4)
  • Baby blankets                                                      
  • Baby books and parenting books                              
  • Larger items that can often be a huge financial burden on our military families like: car seats, strollers, cribs, bouncers, swings, high chairs and pac n'plays
  • Gift cards to Babies R'US, Target and Walmart which will enable mommies to purchase needed registry items     
  • Baby bjorn carriers and floor mobile gyms
  • Formula and bottling supplies           
  • Baby toys and teddy bears
  • Diaper bags
  • White onesies
Here are just some of the mommies/units we have helped through our OHH Baby Showers:
1. A shower benefitting 26 mommies from 2/4 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

2. A shower benefitting 27 mommies from 2/5 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

3. A shower benefitting 23 mommies from 2/1  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

4. A shower beneffiting 13 mommies from HMM 364 and HMLA 169 Mission accomplished on Jan 20th

5. Baby Shower for 2/5's New and Expecting Mommies, April 28th from 2-4pm, Mission accomplished.
6. Baby shower for BLT 2/4, August 4 1-3:30pm, Mission accomplished

7. Baby Shower for 13th MEU, all elements, October 13th, Mission accomplished.

8. Baby Shower for 2/5, January 26, 2014 1:00-3:30

Our Projects

 Operation Rack Pack (Barracks Project)
 Operation Christmas Spirit
OHH Camp JOY/ Mom's Day Off 
OHH Baby Showers
 OHH School Clubs
 Unit Support Events 
 Operation Bedtime Stories(book recording project) 
 Operation Enduring Support for Families in Crisis 
 NEW ALERT 2/26/14: 

Current projects, recent accomplishments and how you can help:
Full Calendar Events Approved and Supported in 2014:
Please note, due to the nature of our projects/assistance, some events have months locked on but no dates until closer to the project. Reminder: our barracks projects are NOT coordinated on return dates. Actual return dates are not given to us for Operational Security precautions.



January 2014

~January 26: OHH Baby Shower for 2/5

February 2014

~February 22: OHH Camp JOY (project up for vote in May) 

March 2014

~March 14th: Service Project with St. Margaret's School-- Operation Rack Pack 3/1

April 2014

~TBD: Operation Rack Pack for 3/7, 29 Palms

~April 19: Operation Rack Pack for 13th MEU, Camp Pendleton

May 2014

~May 5: Operation Rack Pack for 2/5 Part I (Field trip with St. John's Marine Ministries Team (OHH Club)

~May 10:  Operation Rack Pack for 2/5 Part II

June 2014

~TBD: OHH Baby Shower for 1/5


Please note: Our project dates are subject to change depending on unit deployment schedules. We typically do not set Operation Rack Pack dates until one month prior to the project for this reason. We never post or share return dates for the safety of those we serve and out of respect for their families.


To sign up to volunteer for any of the above projects or get your group, business, or church involved, please email our volunteer coordinator, Cindy Farnum with the project as the subject line, your name and a confirmation email will be sent to you. cfarnum@operationhelpahero.com 

 Job Well Done and Thank You!
OHH would like to thank all the generous donors and volunteers who made the following projects successful since we officially went non-profit in 2009 (although we've been doing this since 2002!):
  • January 2009:Assistance with 15th MEU post deployment family day
  • February 2009: Build your own care package event for deployed 1st Marine units
  • April 2009 Baby shower for 3/5's pregnant mommies with daddies deployed
  • May 2009: Assistance with spring carnival on CP at Lake O'Neill
  • July 2009: Baby shower for 1/5's pregnant mommies with daddies deployed
  • November/December of 2009: Barracks project for 1/5 (600 single Marines newly returned from Afghanistan)
  • December 2009:Assistance with the City of Rancho Santa Margarita's shopping event and winter wonderland for family members of 2/5's deployed Marines
  • December 2009: Operation Christmas Spirit benefitting 40 Camp Pendleton families from 1/5, 2/5, 3/5, CLB 5 and the SOI.
  • January 2010: Donated banner party supplies for 2/5 families preparing for their Marines' returns
  • February 2010: Operation Bedtime Stories for CLB 5
  • April 2010: Operation Rack Pack for 600 3/4 Marines who returned from deployment in Afghanistan.
  • May 2010: Banner Party for 2/5 Fox's Return and Reunion Brief
  • June/July 2010: Operation Rack Pack for 2/5 Marines who returned from Afghanistan
  • June 2010: Coordination of volunteers/attendees for the NFL's 2010 Rookie Symposium
  • June/July 2010: Operation Rack Pack  for 300 Marines and Sailors returning from Afghanistan from 2/5
  • July 2010: OHH Baby Shower for 25 of CLB 5's new and expecting mommies
  • August 2010: OHH Baby Shower for over 25 of the School of Infantry's new and expecting mommies
  • September 2010: "Have a Ball" fundraiser for 2/5 in partnership with the City of Rancho Santa Margarita and Philly's Best
  • September 2010: Albertsons and Pavilions Drives to benefit ORP and OES programs
  • October 2010: Operation Rack Pack for CLB 5 and attachments
  • November 2010: Operation Rack Pack for 3/1
  • November 2010: OHH Baby Shower assistance for HMM 167
  • December 2010: Operation Christmas Spirit for 55 lucky Marine Corps families and a truckload of support for 2/1
  • January 2011: OHH Baby Shower for 3/5
  • March 2011: OHH Baby Shower for 2/5
  • April 2011: Operation Rack Pack for 3/5
  • May 2011: Operation Rack Pack for 2/1
  • May 2011: Operation Rack Pack for HMLA 169
  • May/June 2011: Operation Rack Pack for 2/5
  • July 2011: OHH Baby Shower for 1/5
  • July 2011: Family day carnival for 2/5
  • August 2011: Kiddie Camp for 2/5's Jane Wayne Day 
  • September 2011: Patriot's Day Fundraiser 
  • September 2011: OHH Baby Shower for 7th ESB
  • September 2011: Operation Rack Pack for 1/1
  • October 2011: Operation Rack Pack for 1/5
  • October 2011: Operation Rack Pack for 7th ESB
  • November 2011: OHH Baby Shower for 2/4 
  • November 2011: Operation Rack Pack for 7th ESB
  • November 2011: Operation Christmas Spirit Part I (1/5, 2/5, 3/5, 2/4, 2/1, 3/1, 1st LAR, 1st CEB, 1st Recon, RCT 5)
  • December 2011: Operation Christmas Spirit, parts II-VI (92 family wish lists, 39 Marines returning to barracks and over 350 additional children served)
  • December 2011: Operation Welcome Home for RCT 5 mid-way returns
  • January 2012: Operation Bedtime Stories for 2/5
  • February 2012: OHH Camp JOY (Mom's Day Off) for 101 kiddos with deployed parents
  • February 2012: Operation Bedtime Stories for CLB 5
  • March 2012: Operation Rack Pack for 659 2/4 Marines/Sailors
  • April 2012: OHH Baby Shower for 2/5
  • April 2012: Operation Rack Pack for 51 3dAABN Marines/Sailors
  • May 2012: Operation Rack Pack for 528 1st LAR Marines and Sailors
  • May 2012: OHH Camp JOY (Mom's Day Off) for 98 kiddos with deployed parents
  • June 2012: Operation Rack Pack for 250 HMM 268 and MAG 29 Marines/Sailors
  • June 2012: Operation Rack Pack for 650 1/4 Marines and Sailors
  • June 2012: Operation Rack Pack for 632 3/1 Marines and Sailors
  • July 2012: Operation Rack Pack for 58 RCT ADVON Marines and Sailors
  • July 2012: OHH Baby Shower for 23 2/1 new and expecting mommies
  • July 2012: Operation Rack Pack for 50 3dAABN Marines and Sailors
  • July 2012: Operation Rack Pack for 88 RCT 5 ADVON and attachments
  • July 2012 Operation Rack Pack for 210 CLB 5 Marines and Sailors
  • August 2012 Operation Rack Pack for 113 RCT 5 Marines and Sailors
  • August 2012: Operation Rack Pack for 94 2/5 ADVON, PAT I and II, Cargo and IDD Marines and Sailors
  • August 2012: Homecoming support (goody bags, volunteers, raffle prizes, crafts) for 2/5 Homecoming
  • September 2012: Operation Rack Pack for 700 2/5 Marines, Sailors and attachment units to  include Division HQ Marines
  • September 2012: Operation Rack Pack bags for 80 3dAABN Marines and Sailors
  • September 2012 Operation Rack Pack bags for 20 1/1 ADVON Marines and Sailors
  • September 2012: Patriot's Day Event in Rancho Santa Magarita. Booth collection supported City's effort for 2/5, the City's Adoptive Battalion
  • September 2012: Supported 8 different 2/5 homecomings with volunteers, supplies and raffle prizes
  • September 2012: Operation Rack Pack for 375 (made 400) 1/1 Marines and Sailors
  • October 2012: Welcome home goodie bags made and delivered to 450 single Marines and Sailors from 3/7 in 29 Palms
  • October 2012: Service project with St. Margaret's Episcopal School's Middle School
  • November 2012: Operation Rack Pack for 650 2/1 Marines and Sailors
  • November 2012: Operation Rack Pack for 80 1/11 Marines and Sailors
  • November 2012: Operation Rack Pack for 350 1/1 Marines and Sailors
  • December 2012: OHH Camp JOY (Mom's Day Off) for 73 kiddos with deployed parents
  • December 2012: Operation Christmas Spirit for 100 families, and assistance with 2/1, 3/1, 3/7 and 1/4 Christmas parties.
  • January 2013: OHH Baby Shower for HMM 364 and HMLA 169 (plus a few special guests)
  • February 2013: OHH Bring it On! Paintball Fundaiser for Operation Enduring Support
  • February 2013: Operation Rack Pack for 5/11 Marines -- 96 Total
  • March 2013: Operation Rack Pack for 3/5 Marines returning for EAS -- 66 total
  • April 2013: Operation Rack Pack for 88 Marines/Sailors from 5/11
  • May/June 2013: Operation Rack Pack for 2,376 Marines and Sailors from 1/5, 3/5, HMM 364, HMLA 169, 1st Recon and 3dAABN
  • August: Operation Rack Pack for 140 RCT 7 Marines and Sailors returning from Afghanistan
  • August 2013: OHH Baby Shower for 27 New and Expecting Mommies from 2/4
  • September 2013: City of RSM's Patriot's Day with proceeds towards Jan OHH Baby Shower for 2/5
  • September 2013: Operation Bedtime Stories Part I and II serving 75 children with deploying parents.
  • September 2013: OHH Camp Joy for 13th MEU and BLT 2/4, serving 100+children with a deployed parent and their parents on the home front
  • October 2013: OHH Baby Shower for the 13th MEU, serving 33 women with husbands deployed
  • October 2013: Day of service with St. Margaret's Episcopal School
  • October 2013: Operation Rack Pack for 2/4 ADVON-- 66 Single Marines and Sailors served
  • November 2013: Comfort for the Caregiver for 13th MEU, serving 110 ladies with husbands deployed (and their children)
  • November 2013: Operation Rack Pack for 2/4, serving 570 Single Marines and Sailors returning from deployment
  • November 2013: Thanksgiving support of 6 families in partnership with Sunwest Bank
  • December 2013: Christmas party for 2/1, 250+ children served with crafts and toys
  • December 2013: Christmas party for 2/5, 100+ children given toys (thank you, Hasbro, Carter Jenkins and GenerationOn for the toys)
  • December 2013: 103 families served through Operation Christmas Spirit
  • December 2013: 150+ single Marines served through Operation Christmas Spirit
  • January 2014: OHH baby shower for 22 2/5 mommies
  • February 2014: OHH Camp JOY for 87 children with a parent deployed (2/5, 13th MEU and 3/1)
In addition to the events sponsored and coordinated by OHH, our Operation Enduring Support Program for families in crisis was able to provide rent for a wounded warrior, aid to help move a family in crisis, funeral costs for a former Marine, financial assistance for families in serious need, ipads for wounded warriors, support for victims of fires, and furniture to well-deserving military families. OES has served military families in many other circumstances and situations. While we occasionally publish an alert with unit/family permission, most of the help/support we give is done quietly out of respect for the families we serve. Please consider donating to this program to help OHH have the resources to support our heroes in crisis.
None of our projects, programs or efforts would be possible without your support. THANK YOU for showing our men and women in uniform that you appreciate their sacrifice, bravery and dedication; your efforts help our American military heroes to know they are not forgotten. 
Want to volunteer or get more involved with OHH? 
We feel that it takes a village to support our troops, and the more hands we have, the more served. 
We welcome you to get involved and learn more. 
Here are some suggestions to get started:
1. Sign up for our e-newsletter using the form at the bottom of this page. 
2. Check out the list of upcoming events above.
3. "Like" our Facebook page for daily opportunities and reminders
4. Email our volunteer coordinator, Cindy Farnum at cfarnum@operationhelpahero.com with the following information:
    -- The date of the event you're signing up for in the subject line
    -- Your full name and the full names of any other volunteers you'll be bringing with you. 
   -- Good contact informaion
    -- If you are signing up with a small group, troop, school, business, church, etc.
5. Can't commit to an event but want to give an hour or two a couple times a month? Send an email to Cindy (email address above) with your availability, and we will take you up on the help! 
6. Have special talents to share? Let us know... We could especially use the talents of graphic artists, massage therapists, photographers, handymen, stylists and childcare providers.
7. If you have a small group, business, school or church that would like to get involved, let us know. Our coordinators will contact you and set a meeting to go over possibilities and ways we can support your efforts. We can even plan events around your group's schedule with enough participation. cfarnum@operationhelpahero.com 


Copyright 2011, Operation Help a Hero, Inc.
Operation Help a Hero is an IRS approved 501 (c) (3) public charity. Tax ID #: 27-1438256. Your donations are tax deductible. 
Operation Help a Hero, formerly known as Operation Sweet Dreams, has served Marine Corps units in Southern California since 2001. 
We now have a nation-wide school chapter program and plans to support units in all military branches. Sign up for our e-nnouncements below to learn more about our programs, keep up with volunteer opportunities and spread the word about our drives/fundraising to support our men and women in uniform.
P.O. Box 80996, Rancho Santa Margarita, Ca 92688
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