11.19.2013 / Blog Posts Community Events
The ladies of the Douglas J. Green Memorial Foundation
Ladies Night Out fell on Veteran's Day this year and it wouldn't have been complete without commemorating our armed forces.
To thank our troops overseas, WOW members came out in full force on Nov. 11 with hundreds of non-perishable food donations and care package items to send to soldiers currently deployed. Before we knew it, women were bringing in bins upon bins and event backing their cars up to the Redskins Indoor Training Facility to unload all their supplies.
WOW wouldn't have been able to support such a collection without the help of the Douglas J. Green Memorial Foundation. We sat down with Krissy Green, who founded the DJGMF in honor of her brother who was killed in action in 2011, to find out more about how the idea came about and exactly where our donations would be going...
How did the idea for launching DJGMF come about?
It was important to Doug to receive care packages from us. He always looked forward to opening that small piece from home and always appreciated the frequent flow of packages Mom would send him! We decided that there would be no better way to honor him. He always opened his packages and shared his contents with his "brothers" in the remote outposts so this is exactly what he'd want us to do.
What has been the biggest challenge?
There's a general misconception that we are no longer at war. Regardless of what the coverage says, we're still very much in the thick of things with very limited supplies. It was hard some times to get people to support the foundation but as the word has spread, as people see the thank you letters the soldiers send, and as we continue to get media coverage, the foundation has really taken off. Just like the start of anything, it takes work. We've got some great people running hard right now in the direction of a higher level of nonprofit!
Are care packages sent year-round?
We do three major care package events a year. One on Memorial Day, Sept 11th and Dec 7th. Each day has a special armed forces meaning and brings special meaning to the why behind the what of the foundation. We run the care package events in VA and in Las Vegas, where my Mom is located. There's also a Freedom Ride and 5k run held in Las Vegas, which we fully plan on having in VA as well!
What has been the response from soldiers receiving packages?
They are always so very thankful to receive these care packages. The one thing they always say is that it means so much more when they are sent something from complete strangers. They want to know that they aren't forgotten, that Americans still care about them. It feels so good to know that what we do truly impacts them in such a positive way.
What has been the most rewarding moment?
To name just one is impossible. With each package we send over, that is rewarding. With each donation, whether it be monetary or goods to put inside the care package, that is rewarding. The Thank You notes we receive from soldiers is what keeps us pushing forward. Knowing they are out their fighting for us, yet a simple care package can mean the world to them - that is what this is all about. All of it is rewarding!
Members came out in full force with donations on Veteran’s Day!
How many donations did you receive from Members?
We can’t thank the members of WOW enough. The outpouring of support and donations was incredible. We received above and beyond what we had in mind, it was truly touching! We received many things that were on the list, as well as some out of the box ideas like some treats for our four legged Soldiers. It was amazing to see that the women who could of simply brought one item, all showed up with bags of items, going that extra mile to provide the foundation with more than they were expected to donate. We had a special stocking from a child in Fauquier County that was made with so much love, decorated and written out to “MY HERO” with a letter inside. The soldier who receives this will be moved just as much as we were! It’s little things like that, that can mean the most and provide DJGMF with such rewarding moments.
Where are care packages typically sent?
The care packages will be sent out to numerous different locations within Afghanistan. They will be sent out on Dec 7 at our care package event here in VA. We will stuff our other packages, and add letters from schools across the country. They'll receive their special packages in time for the holidays! If anyone is interested in helping us stuff or tape boxes, we'll be at the below location and welcome all and any help:
Potomac Falls High School
46400 Algonkian PKWY
Potomac Falls, VA
WOW members also made cards to include in the care packages
How important are personal touches in the care packages?
SO IMPORTANT! It provides a special touch from home, and again, shows them that they aren't forgotten. We've heard so many times from the deployed soldiers that they love receiving personalized cards. We encourage adults and children to continue to submit cards to us to send.
How can someone looking to help get involved?
We are always looking for volunteers to help with the collection. We obviously need to obtain a good amount of items to package up and appreciate people helping us achieve our goals.We also need people to help seek out monetary donations, help with the actual packaging events, and any other side projects we launch.We always post upcoming events on the foundations Facebook page and website, so anyone wanting to volunteer can access those for more information: www.djgmf.org.
Where do you see DJGMF going in the future?
We have several different avenues we'd like to see the foundation move towards! These are big time goals, but we won't stop until we surpass every goal we've set. Things such as PTSD, families of the deployed, deployment homecomings, and the integration of soldiers back into society...the possibilities are endless to support our soldiers! We've already expanded to a level we didn't think possible in just two short years. There's no telling where we'll be in 5 years!
BIG thanks to the Krissy and all of the women from the Douglas J. Green Memorial Foundation for collecting all of our donations and putting together the care packages going overseas!
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