Spring is here, and that meant it was time for MarineParents.com’s second Care Package Project pack day of 2015! On Saturday, April 18, 41 volunteers from Missouri, Illinois, and Kansas joined us at our corporate office in Columbia, MO, to pack and ship care packages to deployed service-members. This time, we sent 300 packages to deployed troops — 37 to Marines and 263 to Army personnel. Additionally, during pack day a raffle was held to raise money for the Leon D. Deraps Memorial Scholarship Walk/Run. This year, we raised $237 for the event auctioning off two $50 giftcards and two tickets to a St. Louis Cardinals game!
April was National Volunteer Month, and after the packing was done, it was time to recognize, honor, celebrate, and thank our amazing volunteer network for all of the hard work they've done over the last 12 months. Without them, our mission of supporting the troops and their families would not be possible, so a big Ooh-rah goes out to all of our wonderful volunteers. To say "thank you," we had our yearly Volunteer Appreciation Lunch. The lunch itself was delicious. Lutz's BBQ catered the event, and provided us with pulled pork sandwiches, coleslaw, beans, and chips. We also had cheesecake for dessert.
After eating, MarineParents.com Founder and Executive Director Tracy Della Vecchia gave a short speech thanking our volunteers, before recognizing some of the volunteers for their contributions over the last year. The first volunteer to be recognized was Operation Prayers and Letters™ manager Angie R., who earned a silver President's Volunteer Service Award (PVSA) for contributing 276 volunteer hours this year. The next volunteer to be recognized was Jeff J., who also earned a silver PVSA this year for contributing 356 hours this year. Sandy D., who has only missed one pack day since 2006, was the next to be recognized, followed by another longtime volunteer Steve C. Local Volunteer of the Year Mendy Q., who earned a silver PVSA for contributing 360 hours, was the next to be recognized, and Online Support Services Volunteer of the Year, Keri C., who earned a gold PVSA this year for contributing 807 this year, was the last volunteer to be recognized.
Once again, thank you to everyone who came out and showed their support for deployed troops! A great time was had by all and we're looking forward to seeing everyone in July!
Major Harriel, a U.S. Soldier in Afghanistan, was more than happy when we reached out to him about sending his unit care packages, and, since January, we have sent over 500 packages to six different Army units stationed in Afghanistan.
In early May, we received the photo in this article, along with the following message from Major Harriel: "We got the latest shipment of boxes. They are greatly appreciated. It means a lot to us that you guys still think about us. We all appreciate you guys looking out for us."
This might just be one photo, but it shows that Marine Parents will continue to take care of and support our troops until every last one of them are home. Thank you to all of our volunteers who helped make this photo happen.