Spirit of Liberty Foundation announces ‘Operation Thumbs Up America!’ campaign

The “Operation Thumbs Up!” billboard featuring the graphic.
The “Operation Thumbs Up!” billboard featuring the graphic.

(Courtesy of the Spirit of Liberty Foundation)

The Spirit of Liberty Foundation, a local 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization, recently unveiled the soft-launch of a national campaign “Operation Thumbs Up!” with the first “Thumbs Up” billboard installed in San Diego.

The Spirit of Liberty Foundation’s Operation Thumbs Up campaign provides an opportunity for Americans to positively recognize and thank first responders, healthcare professionals, members of law enforcement, firefighters, Armed Forces and veterans whenever they see them by just giving them a big smile and an “enthusiastic Thumbs Up!”

“These are very difficult times and now more than ever we need to bring America together for positive causes and one that almost every American can embrace when recognizing and thanking America’s real heroes — our first responders, healthcare professionals and military, the people who have kept us safe 24/7,” said Richard Rovsek, chairman of the Spirit of Liberty Foundation.

A formal ceremony and media announcement of Operation Thumbs Up will be scheduled shortly. America’s leaders both nationally and locally will be asked to support this effort and invite all Americans to show support giving the “Thumbs Up!”

“First responders and healthcare professionals have faced unprecedented challenges over the past year. They have made tremendous personal sacrifice for the good of humanity,” said Fred Cox, fire chief of the Rancho Santa Fe Fire Protection District. “Giving them a big smile and a ‘Thumbs Up’ is a simple and wonderful way for Americans to express gratitude.”

“This kind of recognition with Operation Thumbs Up means so much to those of us in health care,” said Dr. Dan Dworsky, with Scripps Health. “It’s always meaningful, but so much more so now as we battle COVID-19. Knowing that effort is appreciated makes all the difference. Thank you!”

Paul Connelly, assistant chief of police with the San Diego Police Department, also applauded the Operation Thumbs Up campaign.

“Our nation’s healthcare professionals, medical doctors, nurses, first responders, policemen, firemen, EMTs, and members of our Armed Forces have done incredible work keeping our citizens safe during these unprecedented times, and they all deserve to be recognized,” Connelly said. “The San Diego Police Department greatly appreciates the Spirit of Liberty Foundation for supporting and recognizing America’s heroes with their Operation Thumbs Up campaign!”

EMT firefighter/paramedic Mitch Mendler said, “For 38 years I have been helping the ill and injured. Now that I am administrating the Covid vaccine, I am preventing people from getting sick. That is an incredible overwhelmingly positive accomplishment, and I think the Operation Thumbs Up is a wonderful campaign to convey appreciation for all that we do to keep Americans safe and healthy. ”

Paramedic Kyle Westbrook added, “We normally show up to a scene to help an individual, now we show up to a scene to help the whole community due to the overwhelming COVID pandemic. Operation Thumbs Up is a great way for Americans to show thanks and gratitude which will really lift all first responders’ spirits! Thank you for creating such a meaningful campaign.”

Dr. Ivan Grover, who has been administering the COVID-19 vaccine at Petco Park, said, “Thank you for the Operation Thumbs Up effort ... it’s truly appreciated, and it would mean so much for all the doctors and nurses to receive a big smile and a Thumbs Up!”

The Operation Thumbs Up graphic can be downloaded at