Category Archives: Donor spotlight

Got $10? That’s All You Need to Help Military Families!

soldier-hugging-dadThere’s a quote that we like to refer to at the National Military Family Association:

“The strength of our Soldiers is our Families.”
-General Raymond T. Odierno, General and 38th Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army

Our Association serves the family- and you can too!

This week only, we need as many people as possible to donate just $10 towards our Crowdrise Veteran’s Charity Challenge 2 fundraiser!

The charity that gets the most individual donations wins $2,500—putting us that much closer to the grand prize of $20,000.

Here’s what $20,000 would do for military families:

  • Fund the education and career path for 20 military spouses
  • Send 40 children to an Operation Purple camp, or
  • Host 10 families at a Family Retreat!

Tell your friends, share it on Facebook, and help us win this week’s challenge!

Click here to donate!

Thanks for your support – we couldn’t do it without you!

carolinePosted by Caroline Rasmus, Development and Membership Manager

What’s On Your Birthday List? Probably Not This…

chloe-and-miya-megaroKids and gifts seem to go hand in hand, right? From birthdays, to holidays, the lists of gotta-have-its never stop growing. But for nine year old Chloe Megaro, and seven year old Miya Megaro, their gotta-have-its were a little different than most.

Shortly after the attacks on 9/11, the Megaro family felt a strong desire to help support the military, and the families who support our brave men and women. The Megaros were inspired by the many individuals who lost loved ones in the tragedy. Especially how those who lost so much managed to raise awareness, and money, for others who suffered as they did.

At first, the Megaros collected items for charities that prepared care packages to troops overseas.

But then something amazing happened. The idea to give back grew.

Their family decided to dedicate their annual children’s Valentines party, which they called “Open Your Heart to a Soldier,” to our service members and their families.

Chloe and Miya invited friends and family to the party where they provided food, fun, and raffled gift items donated from local vendors. In an effort to continue supporting military families, the family hosted this party for three consecutive years, and collected more than $3,000!

“We feel so proud to have not only raised funds, but also increased awareness and concern for our troops and their families. Many of our guests thanked us for hosting such a thoughtful event.” said Cathy Megaro, Chloe and Miya’s mother.

Due to personal circumstances, the Megaro’s were unable to continue the “Open Your Hearts to a Soldier” Valentines event this year, but that didn’t stop Chloe and Miya from giving. Instead, the girls requested donations to military charities in lieu of gifts at their birthday parties. Their guests donated $200, which the Megaro’s matched, and added an additional $100 to make a minimum total donation of $500!

“[Chloe and Miya] are aware of how blessed they are, and how important it is to help those in need, especially our soldiers and their families.”

Now that’s a gotta-have-it.

What ways do you teach your kids to give back? Share it with us in a comment!

anniePosted by Annie Morgan, Development and Membership Deputy Director

 

Donor Spotlight: Crafting for a Cause

fabric-traditionsIn honor of their 25th Anniversary, FabricTraditions has chosen to commemorate their special day with the launch of a fabric collection that’s particularly significant to the people who most contributed to their success. According to the company’s co-founder, Dom Seddio, “We developed the ‘Creating New Traditions’ 100% Made-In-America line to honor our American employees, vendors and customers, as well as our military.” A percentage of fabric sales will benefit the National Military Family Association.

Seddio adds, “We chose the Association because it’s the only national organization that represents officer and enlisted families, all military branches, as well as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Public Health Service. It’s earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator for 10 years, a distinction that only 1% of U.S. charities merit. Our hope is that we can continue this program long term.”

The initial “Creating New Traditions” collection will consist of 26 new fabric prints. Subsequent collections will be introduced quarterly. Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores, the nation’s leading fabric and craft retailer with more than 800 stores in 49 states, will retail the collection and feature the fabrics in their Jo-Ann Fashion Fusion magazine. The “Creating New Traditions” collection will be easily identified in-store by custom-printed, deep blue Made-in-America board-ends.

This generous donation from Fabric Traditions brought back some wonderful memories of military life for me. My family was stationed at Andrews Air Force base for nine years. We were lucky enough to live in base housing and were blessed with wonderful neighbors. Every Tuesday night, the ladies in the neighborhood held a craft night. Some nights, only three people showed up. Other nights, we had twenty people packing the room. We all had different projects to work on – cross stitch, quilting, doll making, dough art, sweatshirt painting, and knitting. It was a lovely way to relax away from the kids, and connect with other spouses.

Every once in a while we held a special craft night, and we would all learn a new craft together. We had so much fun! We made gingerbread houses at Christmas time, learned how to ‘blow out’ real eggs to make our own keepsake Easter eggs, tea stained fabric, and painted sweatshirts.

Did you know crafting improves your health and overall quality of life? It can soothe emotions and relieve stress. You gain a sense of accomplishment and the pleasure of creating things. Trying new crafts, and being creative, promotes brain flexibility and growth. Who knew?!

Crafting also offers an escape from your every day cares and worries. It’s a low-stress way to unwind from life’s pressures and concerns while engaging in a worthwhile activity that allows for a bit of a diversion. We never realized that those few hours gave us a break from the stresses of military life – we were just having fun!

We are so happy that FabricTraditions has chosen to recognize the efforts of our Association! Military life can often be overwhelming, uncertain, and stressful, but with companies like FabricTraditions, spouses and families can find fun, creative ways to bond and enjoy this unique adventure!

Do you and your neighbors get together and do anything crafty? Share them with other military spouses in the comments section below!

anniePosted by Annie Morgan, Development and Membership Deputy Director

Donor Spotlight: Meghan Kelly, Tallahassee Magazine’s Top Singles Auction

MeghanKellySinglesOn Saturday July 20th, seventeen of Tallahassee, Florida’s most eligible bachelors and bachelorettes were auctioned off to the highest bidder as part of Tallahassee Magazine’s Top Singles of 2013 fundraiser.

The event, held in the ballroom of Hotel Duval, captivated a sold out crowd of over 250 guests. All bidding proceeds raised by each Top Single went directly to a charity of their choice.

Meghan Kelly (left), an Air Force brat of 20 years, chose the National Military Family Association as the beneficiary of her auction monies. Daughter of Lt. Col. Jean Kelly and Maj. Charles Kelly, Meghan chose our Association because she loves the support and resources our Association provides to military families.

The night of the auction, seventeen singles waited backstage, dressed to the nines. Some were excited, others were nervous. One by one, the emcee introduced the singles and the auctioneer started the bidding. Each single chose the song that would play while they were on stage; current top 40 hits, country, and rock and roll blasted as the crowd waved their bidding paddles.

Cheryl Lynn’s “Got to Be Real” began to play and Meghan walked on to the stage, waving and smiling at the crowd. After just a minute and a half on stage, Meghan was “bought” for $3,000!

The total amount of money raised for various charities that evening was $53,122.36, the most successful Tallahassee Top Singles fundraising auction to date.

Despite the challenges military families face, Meghan notes she is who she is today due to her ‘proper upbringing.’

“My parents gave my brother and me opportunities to see parts of this country many do not, we met people of all different walks of life, saw how important civic duty is, and where hard work will get you – you can only get that kind of an education if you’ve grown up as a military kid,” she said.

Meghan currently resides in Tallahassee and is the Chief Operating Officer of Lisa Miller & Associates, a government consulting firm. Her parents are retired and living in Panama City, Florida.

Want to donate to the National Military Family Association? Make your tax-deductible donation here!

anniePosted by Annie Morgan, Development and Membership Deputy Director

VLOG: A BIG ‘Thanks’ to our smallest donor, Maya!

mayas-donation-to-nmfaFive year old Maya is one of our youngest and sweetest donors! Maya heard about the struggles military children face and wanted to find a way to help them. She set up a lemonade stand along a parade route on July 4th to raise money for military children. The money Maya raised will help send the child of a deployed soldier to one of our Operation Purple® summer camps.

The uncertainty of war and the absence of a service member are stressful for the entire family. Operation Purple Camps are designed to help by giving children friends to confide in, coping skills to handle mom or dad’s absence, a break from wartime tension at home, and, of course, a ton of fun to offset the extra responsibilities in their complicated young lives.

A few weeks ago, Maya’s dad brought her to our Headquarters so she could drop off her donation in person. We gave her a tour of our office and introduced her to all the employees. She met with Chairman of the Board, Mary Scott, and presented the Association with her donation of $200.

Maya’s donation shows that you don’t have to be a big person to make a big impact. If you want to help military families, visit our website to donate.


anniePosted by Annie Morgan, Development and Membership Deputy Director

Donor Spotlight: Sons of the American Legion

ARL-662-donation-with-Chairman“Hooohah! Our first ALR ride was a doozy!!”

Those were the excited words expressed by American Legion Riders Post 662 Treasurer Kipp Halpin in an email to his fellow riders. The ALR Post 662 out of New Holland, PA hosted “Cover Our Vets with Hope,” a benefit motorcycle ride that raised $3,657 for the National Military Family Association. Eighty six motorcycles, riders, and passengers participated in the 60-mile scenic trip that toured 10 covered bridges in eastern Lancaster County.

The riders of Post 662 were so excited about their benefit and money raised, they rode their motorcycles down to the Association’s headquarters to deliver the donation in person on behalf of the American Legion. On July 24th, Kipp Halpin, Des Hoover, Tom O’Neill, Frank Usner, and Art Sheffield gathered at a local gas station in Pennsylvania at 7am and started their three hour trip south to Washington, D.C.

It was a pleasure to greet these gentlemen at the door and introduce them around the office. It is always such an honor to meet our donors in person. To be able to shake their hands and sincerely say “thank you” for a job well done was special moment. One that brought smiles to all those in the office that morning.

They proudly presented the Association’s Chairman of the Board, Mary Scott, with a check for $3,657.

“We truly live in a community that cares for it’s military families! Let’s give them big thanks!” said Halpin.


THANK YOU American Legion Riders Post 662! We appreciate your support of military families and in the words of Neil Young, “Long May You Run.”

annieBy Annie Morgan, Development and Membership Deputy Director

Ordinary people change the world

OPCTWOur friends at Wholly Guacamole® teamed up with New York Times bestselling author Brad Meltzer to honor our “Wholly Heroes” – military families. The Wholly Guacamole team sold “Ordinary People Change the World” t-shirts and donated 100% of the money raised to our Operation Purple® program; camps specifically designed for military kids with deployed parents. Their donation of $50,000 will send 100 military kids to Operation Purple® camps in 2013.

“In the past, to mark National Guacamole Day, we’ve given customers coupons for Wholly Guacamole products, and we’ve been active in the world of social media. Recently, I came across Brad Meltzer’s “Hero” video, and the message really hit home,” said Tracey Altman, Vice President of Marketing for the Wholly Guacamole brand. She explained a desire to do something a little different to mark the occasion. “The concept that ordinary people can change the world is so simple and so true. We had the idea to take this concept and use this occasion as a day for our company to give back.

“Military spouses and kids are true heroes, and we want to thank them,” stated Altman.

The t-shirt art was designed by Brad Meltzer and his team at Ordinary People Change the World. Meltzer developed the website hoping to inspire people to make a difference. The idea of creating a movement of ordinary people who can change the world one day at a time came to him after his son was born.

“‘Ordinary People Change the World’ was created because I wanted more than sports figures and movies stars to be influencers in my kids’ lives,” Meltzer said. “I wanted to show them real heroes so they could be inspired. Teaming up with the folks at the Wholly Guacamole brand is a great way to show military kids that they do matter and you don’t have to wear a cape to be a super hero.”

Many thanks to our friends at Wholly Guacamole and Mr. Meltzer for recognizing that our military families are our heroes too – Wholly Heroes!

anniePosted by Annie Morgan, Development and Membership Deputy Director at the National Military Family Association