GORHAM, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- If you stop at Dunkin' Donuts this week, you may have been asked if you want to donate $1 to Operation Tribute. It's a non-profit, started right here in Maine, that sends gifts to the children of active duty military personnel during the holidays.
Monday, founder Marc Badeau marched in the Portland Veterans' Day Parade to raise awareness for the effort. He started the organization in 2007 just for Maine families, but the thankful letters he received made him realize that kids in other states should benefit, too. Now, Operation Tribute reaches kids in all New England states, plus, New York, New Jersey, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Last year, 34,000 gifts went out, 4,800 of them to Mainers.
Badeau said, "We get letters. We get phone calls, and we get people who come to volunteer for us who say, '3 years ago, I was deployed, and I took advantage of this program. And I want to give back.'"