An American-made care package is the ideal way to express your gratitude to our military. We'll tell you how.

Guest post by Amanda Maurer, PR & Social Media Specialist at Wisconsinmade.com. Amanda shares her experience with sending care packages to American troops via Operation Gratitude.

During my first year at my job at Wisconsinmade.com, I came up with the idea to partner with Operation Gratitude, an organization that sends care packages to troops. Operation Gratitude and Wisconsinmade seemed to fit together well since we both specialize in sending packages to make people smile. Wisconsinmade also has a few food gifts, including cheese, that ship to APO/FPO addresses and survive the time it takes to make it across an ocean.

What I didn't know when I started planning this fundraiser was how much a care package and a letter from home means to a soldier.  The first time I went to the Operation Gratitude website to read the testimonials from troops who receive care packages, I couldn't stop reading the stories and looking at the photos. You can tell the care packages truly brighten their day. Here are a few samples:

I can only say thank you from the bottom of my heart. You and your angels are truly great and one of the things that keeps me going over here.

I just want to use this time to say thank you for all that you gentlemen and ladies are doing for us. There is nothing better than knowing that what you do makes a difference not just to your fellow service members but also to others back at home. Just the thought of the care package I just received brings a smile to my face. There are many of us who had to leave families and loved ones behind but to know that there are others thinking about us is just a blessing.

This year, with troops out of Iraq, I wondered whether there was still a need for care packages. I called up Carol, the president of Operation Gratitude and she said the need is as great as ever. Most people don't realize that 200,000 US troops are still serving in Afghanistan, Kuwait, and on ships at sea. With the help of our Facebook fans, we donated $1 per Like for every like we received in a 2 week period in July and managed to raise over $1,000 for Operation Gratitude.

Even though the Wisconsinmade.com fundraiser has ended, you can still help US troops. This is a great opportunity to choose and send a USA made gift. If you need help, on the Military Gifts section of Wisconsinmade.com, you can find a variety of gifts that can be shipped to APO/FPO addresses including cheese gift boxes, Wisconsin sports clothing, and more.

You can also donate to Operation Gratitude directly though their website. $15 is enough to send a care package to a soldier. You can even use your talents to help. Visit the Operation Gratitude website for more ways to help including letter writing, knitting, and more. However you decide to help, it will make a difference to the troops just to know someone at home appreciates what they do.

Do you know someone who is deployed? Share your best ideas for American-made care package contents.