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Operation Gratitude

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Contest Puts Student Artwork in the Hands of Deployed Troops, Supports Local Schools

Operation Gratitude and True Religion Brand JeansĀ® have partnered together for "Pictures for Patriots," a contest for K-12 students to create artwork that conveys thanks to U.S. Military.

Encino, CA, May 29, 2011 --( Operation Gratitude, the 501(c)(3) Military support charity, and co-sponsor True Religion Brand Jeans® have launched a "Pictures for Patriots" contest designed to encourage students in kindergarten through 12th grade to use their artistic talents to express patriotic support and gratitude for deployed U.S. troops.

"The troops love getting kids' artwork in their Operation Gratitude care packages," explained Carolyn Blashek, founder of the organization. "Some decorate their living or work space with it, others save it in a special place to bring home someday, and a few even carry the drawings with them on all their missions, tucked into their pockets or helmets for good luck and comfort."

Hoping to receive more of such treasures and at the same time discover the perfect drawing for the cover of their annual Operation Gratitude Magazine, published exclusively for deployed troops, Operation Gratitude, in cooperation with True Religion Brand Jeans®, designed a social media-based contest to engage the public's help.

Students in K-12 are invited to submit digital images of their drawings from May 25 through June 15 via email to: The original drawings must also be mailed, along with an Entry/Parent Permission Form, to: Pictures for Patriots 2011/Operation Gratitude; 16444 Refugio Road; Encino, California 91436

Operation Gratitude and True Religion Brand Jeans® will choose 10 Finalist drawings from among all entries submitted. Commencing on June 20, the 10 Finalist drawings will be posted in a "Pictures for Patriots" photo album on Operation Gratitude's Facebook page. Facebook users may then "like" their favorite entry, thereby voting for the drawing they believe is best. One "like" equals one vote. The three drawings with the most votes by the contest's July 3 closing date will be announced as the Grand Prize Winners on July 4 and each Winner will earn a $500 donation to the student's school and an iPod for themselves. The entry with the greatest number of votes will be placed on the cover of the upcoming Operation Gratitude Magazine.

Each of the 10 Finalists will receive a pair of True Religion Brand Jeans®, an Operation Gratitude DogTag, and will be featured on the inside pages of the Operation Gratitude Magazine. In addition, each of the 10 Finalists will be assisted in the filing of an application to obtain a U.S. copyright registration for their drawing submission. True Religion Brand Jeans® will select one or more of the drawing submissions to be printed on T-Shirts that will be sold from their retail stores. A portion of the proceeds from those sales will be contributed to Operation Gratitude.

Complete "Pictures for Patriots" Rules and Entry Forms may be requested by email:

For those students who otherwise wouldn't be able to volunteer in the armory because they're under age 12 or live too far away, Blashek urged: "This is an ideal opportunity to show their appreciation and support for the troops in a creative and special way! We hope parents, teachers, scout and youth group leaders will encourage their children to participate in this very patriotic and meaningful activity."

"True Religion Brand Jeans® is humbled and honored to participate in this program with Operation Gratitude," said Chief Executive Officer, Jeffrey Lubell. "This is a beautiful and meaningful display of support and appreciation for our deployed service men and women."

Contact Information
Operation Gratitude
Ann Hamilton

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