Pack Day Recap
Marine Parents celebrated our ninth anniversary with the largest and most amazing pack day yet! The patriotic spirit was high as we prepared care packages for our heroes in Afghanistan on the morning of Saturday, January 21st. In the five hour span, friends from former pack days were reunited, new friendships were formed, the warehouse was filled with stories and laughter, and 1,350 care packages were filled with love and support from home.
The ooh-rah pride filled the parking lot as cars from six states arrived, most bearing Marine Corps and patriotic bumper stickers (and one from Michigan bearing snow on its bumper, brr!). The day started with volunteer registration and breakfast, as an incredible 79 volunteers came to help send our Marines overseas packages of love and support. These great volunteers were able to enter a free raffle while checking in, scan our new QR codes to keep up with all our programs, and meet one of our favorite new editions to the EGA Store: our cuddly, customizable bear!
Founder and CEO Tracy Della Vecchia welcomed the volunteers, then Gold Star Mother, Sandy Deraps, led the staff and volunteers in a prayer to start the day off in the right spirit. Before long, everyone was split into groups and ready to start packing!
Care packages this time included items to keep our Marines warm and dry, from hand warmers to new socks and tee-shirts. Care packages also included a tasty array of food, from Girl Scout cookies to candies, along with filling choices like ready-to-eat soups from our SOUPer Heroes campaign! Over 2,800 cans of soup were sponsored for this drive and will keep our Marines overseas warm this winter.
Each pack day is special, as staff and volunteers meet to support our troops, each with their own stories and motivation to help. Volunteers Randi and Patty have been coming to pack days for three years, and love the speeches they get to hear from those in the service. Volunteer Kimberly of Columbia came sporting a “Packing for Patrick” shirt to support her nephew on his way to Afghanistan. Patrick’s parents live in Chicago and couldn’t make the drive to come to pack day, so Kimberly came to represent the family!
Since it was such a cold day outside, all packing and shipment was done inside the warehouse. Though a different set-up than usual, the whole process ran quickly and smoothly, thanks to all of our wonderful volunteers! The Thursday and Friday prior to pack day were an important time, when local volunteers from places like First State Community Bank pitched in to help us prepare for the big day. Many bank employees also helped on pack day to see the project through completion! Volunteers from the community, as well as from Mizzou and Rock Bridge High School were also present from Thursday to Saturday, cheerfully helping prep and pack materials for the Care Package day. In all, over 130 volunteers over the three days worked hard to make this first pack day of 2012 a success!
After finishing the care packages, families were able to visit with one another, share stories, and shop in the EGA Store. Rosalyn Reese won the free volunteer raffle - a giant tote filled with all kinds of Marine Corps gear that she’s excited to sport! Though the temperature outside didn’t warm much, Marine Parents building was warm with the love and spirit of the great Marine families and supporters acting as a true Semper family!
Mark your calendars for our next pack day on Saturday, April 21! Registration will open three weeks prior. Our heroes and their families send a big Ooh-Rah to all who continue to support our Marines, God bless you in all that you do!
Click here to view a local news story of the packing!
View a slideshow of photos from the pack day!
Find more photos like this on Marine Family Network
A Special Thank You to:
A special thank you goes out to the following companies, organizations and supporters who helped make this possible:
Zachary Vaughn Eagle Scout Project in Texas: 11 extra-large boxes and $1,172.57
Ambassador’s Club in Missouri: 21 large boxes
Colin Moylan for Boy Scouts in Michigan: 18 large boxes
Rasmussen College Online in Minnesota: 12 large flat rate boxes
Jerry Whittle Eagle Scout Project in New Jersey: 31 large boxes
SGC Financial in California: 7 large boxes
Carlisle-Branson Funeral Service & Crematory in Indiana: 12 large boxes
Merchants and Farmers Bank in Missouri: 20 bags
Stuart Draft Middle School in Virginia: 26 large boxes
Sanford-Brown Institute in Pennsylvania: 5 large boxes
Pine Level Elementary School in Alabama: 6 large boxes
Komos in Illinois: 5 large boxes
Williams Field High School in Arizona: 179 Christmas cards and 12 letters
Turlock Christian School in California: 183 cards
Pekin Community High School in Illinois: 12 letters, 72 handmade cards, 58 cards
Inglewood Elementary School in Pennsylvania: 101 handmade cards and letters
Charter School of Education Excellence in New York: 344 letters and pictures
Temple Emanu-El Early Education in New Jersey: 26 handmade cards
Southern High School in Maryland: 88 handmade Christmas cards
Blue Valley West High School in Kansas: $210 donation and 190 handwritten letters
"Dear Marine" Cards and Letters:
First State Community Bank: Employees volunteered on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday to prepare for and participate in pack day
Goedecke Construction: Our neighbors who helped unload our big donations and lent us their forklift
Joe Guffy, Post Office: Stamped all customs forms
Rock Bridge and Hickman High Students: Cheerfully helped sort and prepare items for pack day
Mizzou Black Men’s Initiative Group: Helped sort large donations
Local Volunteers and Contributors: