Operation Troop Appreciation
Monica Orluk is the perfect example of selfless service, dedicating her life to helping the soldiers and veterans who have served and sacrificed for Americans here at home.
Monica joined Operation Troop Appreciation, a 100% volunteer non-profit, during its founding in July 2004, serving as the Vice President for six years. In November 2010, Monica was unanimously voted by the Board of Directors to serve as the President and COO for OTA. Since OTA’s founding, Monica has worked tirelessly to build the organization into the national success that it has become, and consistently has the well-being and support of our troops and veterans at heart. OTA is dedicated to showing support for our troops. Since its inception, OTA has provided “wish list” items of needed tactical, entertainment and other supplies to more than 160,000 troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and to over 5,000 veterans who have returned home. Without Monica’s leadership, compassion and dedicated talents, OTA would not be where it is today. And her vision has taken OTA to help those who return home as well, with the same dedication that Monica has shown to our active duty troops.
In April of 2014, recognizing the great challenges faced by returning warriors and other veterans, Monica led OTA to offer expanded services with the launch of "Welcome Home". Since inception, this program has provided emergency and critical assistance to over 5,000 veterans (and veteran families) in need. The “Welcome Home" program fills a gap between the need and the actual support our veteran community receives today; we help prevent homelessness and provide a "hand-up" for veterans experiencing tragic circumstances today. We are the only provider of these services in Pennsylvania to the veteran community. OTA accomplishes these goals by providing brand new items for their homes. This includes beds for all family members, and other household necessities such as, tableware, cookware, small appliances, cleaning supplies, and laundry items. These items are presented as a "Welcome Home" gift, intended to provide a "hand up" (to help them provide for themselves and their family) instead of a "hand out" that only has a one-time or short-term benefit.
Monica volunteers 40+ hours a week for OTA solidifying corporate sponsorships, organizing fundraisers, packing boxes, stuffing envelopes, keeping up soldier correspondence, coordinating media events, etc. And she spends countless hours meeting with veterans, serving as their advocate, and to ensure they receive all the benefits they have earned and are entitled to. No task is too menial or too much of a bother for Monica- her motivation is simply to serve others. This is incredible given that she volunteers her time while balancing a demanding full time job as Director of Sales Engineering for Fiserv Lending Solutions.
Monica does this because she believes 100% in our cause and wants to tangibly support our troops in their missions and our veterans at home. Whenever she receives praise from those she serves, or those in the community who admire her leadership and service, she always responds by saying, “When you are as blessed in life as I am, the best way to be thankful is to give to others.” And she backs up her words every day by setting the example for our volunteers and her commitment to our organization.