Why our community started Operation Sandbox for the Armed Forces

By DeathWishCoffee — / Death Wish Coffee Blog

Death Wish Coffee community started Operation Sandbox in 2016

We often talk about how we wouldn't be where we are today without our amazing Death Wish Coffee community — and they become more and more amazing each and every day. 

Twice a year, our community holds coffee drives on Armed Forces Day and during the holidays called Operation Sandbox. Gail Dunmyer, one of our biggest supporters, organizes and ships the care packages. They send troops around the world coffee, merch, hand-written letters, and drawings from children that go with the shipments to the bases. (To learn more information on how to donate to Operation Sandbox, contact Shannon Sweeney at [email protected])

A base in Gamberi, Afghanistan that was sent a care package of coffee, merch, and letters from our community. It was organized by Gail Dunmyer.

"The response from the fan base was unbelievable," Gail said. "We had so many bags of coffee to ship that wewere able to send to more than one base. Several of our community fan members had their loved ones deployed and we were able to send to their base addresses in Afghanistan." 

Death Wish Coffee care package sent to U.S. soliders in Afghanistan

Operation Sandbox started in 2016 when Gail met someone on the Death Wish Facebook page who was serving under the Department of Defense in Afghanistan. He hadn't had a cup of Death Wish Coffee for over a year — and Gail wanted to change that. She and Lisa Wallarab, another community member, thought it would be a great idea to send coffee to deployed soldiers overseas, and Lisa came up with the name of this coffee drive. 

U.S. soliders at Bagram Airfield

The Pat Tillman USO, Bagram Airfield and Edgington, Afghanistan.

Fans from all over order coffee sent to Gail's address — and they also oftentimes include notes and drawings thanking members of the Armed Forces for their service. 

"The troops really say that getting our Operation Sandbox packages are the highlight of their deployment. It means so much to them." Gail recently told us. "To get something from "home" that is not only an exceptional and highly caffeinated coffee from a great company like Death Wish Coffee Company, but that the company's fans, on their own, collects and sends it to them along with swag and their children's cards-it means the world to them. They hang the drawings and cards at their coffee stations. "

U.S. soliders in front of a Air Force jet holding a Death Wish Coffee flag

 Now in 2020, Gail talked about how the drive has evolved.

"Every year our Operation Sandbox drive grows, and more and more community spirit is shared. Everyone contributes to the drive. Even my husband, Brian, who is a Vietnam vet, takes the boxes in to be shipped."

Brian Dunmyer transporting boxes using a hand truck

Gail's husband Brian Dunmyer

"No words can describe what it means to our Armed Forces overseas to get a caffeinated care package of Death Wish Coffee from a group of people they do not know," Gail said. "We all share the same bond of caffeinated goodness." 

Thanks for constantly being amazing, Death Wish Coffee community! 

Related: Why we started Random Acts of Caffeination

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