by:  Tammy Meyer

Gratitude can be expressed in many ways. Our military community has much gratitude for employers that support military veteran and spouse employment. First Data provides our military community with access to career opportunities and best-in-class education resources, while offering premier business solutions to veteran and military spouse-owned businesses. First Data owner-associates went above-and-beyond for the third year in a row to write more than 28,500 letters of gratitude to military veterans, service members, and their families through Blue Star Families’ Operation Appreciation Honor Cards service project.

“On September 11t​h​, First Data launched its third annual Operation Appreciation letter writing campaign, with a goal of contributing 12,000 handwritten letters for active military members, veterans, and their families. We are proud to announce that First Data’s owner-associates more than doubled the goal by contributing more than 28,500 cards! Such a feat could not have been achieved without the countless number of supporters who pulled together to make this year’s campaign a great success.

First Data sites throughout the country participated in the campaign, along with work-from-home owner-associates. Each site managed and promoted the campaign differently. Leading the way, Hagerstown raised the bar for their owner-associates who rose to the challenge in a big way.

James Alvey​, vice president of call center operations and Hagerstown, Maryland site leader, his site to take the lead and drive results. In Hagerstown, one team stood out in their determination to lead the way. The ​Prepaid Helpdesk team​, comprised of 21 owner-associates plus team manager ​Mike Bittorie​, added a total of 14,301 cards in one month’s time!

Not only did this team show great appreciation for our military, but they demonstrated what is possible when owner-associates come together to find a common goal, work as a team, and encourage each other. First Data is filled with talented and driven individuals that perform outstanding work each day. Embodying the principles of One First Data, this Hagerstown team has illustrated that every member of the First Data family is capable of contributing to company success.”

– Melissa Bird, First Data Military and Veteran Affairs

Blue Star Families is thrilled to partner with First Data and help spread gratitude to service members and families throughout the country and around the world. Our dedicated Blue Star Families volunteer Chapter Directors receive the letters and assemble 23 volunteer teams to help distribute letters to our deserving veterans and military family members. Blue Star Families would like to thank the First Data Military and Veteran Affairs team and each and every First Data employee who personally wrote thank you letters to military veterans, service members, and their families. Gratitude can be expressed in many ways. How will you say thanks? Get involved in a ​Blue Star Chapter​ near you or ​nominate a Blue Star Neighbor​ like the great folks at First Data for the Blue Star Neighbor award!