On the Thursday before Valentine’s Day, Viacom employees made a date with Viacommunity and Operation Goody Bag (OGB) at our New York City headquarters. Our passionate group of volunteers successfully prepared 1,000 bags in less than two hours to be distributed to U.S. armed forces stationed abroad. Jane Cosco, Operation Goody Bag’s pioneer and founder, kicked off the event by giving a brief overview of the nonprofit’s mission to arriving participants.
Founded in the aftermath of Sept. 11, OGB functions to both commemorate the lives lost that day and to show appreciation to our troops through the gift of carefully assembled goody bags.
This is no easy feat at times. Although Cosco has been propelling this project for approximately 10 years, she has dedicated much of her time (and storage space in her own home), to the project. So what’s in these bags? At our Viacommunity-sponsored event, the bags contained fun, lighthearted items such as candy, a crossword puzzle, and a personal hand-written note.
The bags were also decorated by Viacom employees and OGB staff members. That was one of the most exciting parts about hosting this event at Viacom: the sheer amount of creativity exerted in decorating each bag. Somewhere in the world, men and women of the armed forces received goody bags on Valentine’s Day embellished with vibrant patriotic symbols, perfectly sketched renditions of the Brooklyn Bridge, and stickers of SpongeBob tossing hearts and exclaiming, “Be Mine.”
Cosco treasures that Viacom employees transform these lovable goody bags with their unique creative skills and Viacom’s distinct branding. This appreciative and caring aspect of the goody bags delivers a personal touch that often drives the soldiers to write back. Operation Goody Bag receives countless letters back from first responders, troops and veterans who say that the love and consideration expended making these goody bags motivates them to continue their courageous fight to protect our country.
Here’s a bit more about Operation Goody Bag: