Posted: Nov 30, 2010 at 12:09 AM [Nov 30, 2010]
Homefront Hugs, which is a national charity,a 501-3c, and has moved its headquarters almost a year ago to Ann Arbor, and is looking for volunteers.
Our troops and military famillies are hurting and weary from the numerous deployments and could use some help and a morale boost. They also are the last ones to ask for help.
So when they do, or their loved ones ask, we listen at Homefront Hugs.
Go visit our web site at www.HomefrontHugs.org or email info@HomefrontHugs.org for more info, their brochures, and online apps to volunteer from home with your family, from your place of work, or just by yourself. The rewards are priceless and you will be appreciated ....the troops are surprised still now that anyone cares enough to help or lift their spirits. Whether you send a magazine, a yoyo,a pack of gum or some beef jerky and a deodorant stick, you will become an instant friend and hero to them for remembering...for caring.During winter, they may need a warm blanket,socks or some gloves..but you just do what you can and we can help with the rest.
Just read some of the letters on the web site and check out the many ways you can make a difference any time of year. Jon us on Facebook at Homefront Hugs USA or on Twitter at HomefrontHugs and stay updated or add your own experience with us.
To adopt a soldier or a family does not cost much. It just takes some energy, some imagination and a big heart to care enough to understand that these troops and families are serving all of us and keeping us free and safe. Leave the politics at the door, remember what it means to be American this holiday season and just reach out to another human being in need far away or wounded in a hospital. Founder and president of Homefront Hugs, Sandria Kellermann learned that firsthand as a student at University of Michigan in the 1980s and as a health care worker at U of M Medical Centers in the 90s.. Now Homefront Hugs is receiving help from the University of Michigan soccer and basketball teams and is excited about continuing the legacy...
Concordia University even hosted a huge Veterans Day event this month inviting Homefront Hugs to share their missions with the Ann Arbor community and students. Over $500 was raised to help fill holiday care packages for the troops and families.
You and every person of every religion and ability is invited to help...there is a place for you no matter what your talent at Homefront Hugs...no matter what your age...and or ethnicity or choices in life...everyone is welcome just as our troops and families come from all over the world and from all backgrounds and lifestyles.
Bring your ideas, your hearts, your kids, your neighbors, your passion and make a difference with us. We are beginnning our 10th year of service back in our hometown that we have missed so much.
Join us and if you are in the military or a vet or military family and need any support, let us know, Everything is confidential. We follow OPSEC and we are the recipients of the Four Chaplains Award (which includes a Rabbi) for our inclusion and diversity.
We leave the politics at the door. We make sure no hero is forgotten. We know that the children with Mom or Dad gone are heroes too. We know sometimes Grandma or Grandpa is watching the children while Mom and Dad are deployed. Look around. You will find out someone knows someone who served or is deployed now.
Homefront Hugs USA is here to stay and our first priority will be the needs of Ann Arbor and Michigan especially now that our headquarters are permanently here where our family home is rooted.
"Savor those precious moments" as a hero veteran and good friend of ours once said.
And remember why we get to be war free and live here and enjoy this incredible town and all it has to offer, without worry or fear, because of those who serve. When we watch the tree lighting or light our Hanukkah candles or pray in our Mosques, remember why we have freedom of religion and worship.
You can help from your dorm rooms, with your teachers (as the awesome Slauson MIddle School students did this year and wrote cards for our wounded at Operation Healing Angel for Veterans Day ) , with your parents or friends...from home...
Perhaps you just wish to help yourself from home or send a donation from your business. Do what works for you. Perhaps your own community club wants a neat holiday project and way to thank our veterans .
You do what you choose to do when you choose to do it...when you volunteer with Homefront Hugs.
Homefront Hugs is here all year long helping and supporting those who serve, promoting stewardship in our youngest generation and our seniors and disabled, and helping in disaster relief where our troops are sent as well.
You choose. But choose something. You are needed more than you know.
Email Info@HomefrontHugs.org ,go to Facebook or Twitter or look us up on GUIDESTAR or Volunteer Match or Utube.
You will read why volunteers have stayed with us for years participating in different missions and projects depending on what suited them and moved them at the time. We are a huge volunteer family worldwide and we never have enough help.
But here is what one Navy officer wrote us during a long deployment which somehow sums it all up:
" Dear Alessandra and the volunteers of Homefront Hugs USA:
It is a joy to write to you and to personally thank you for the
many wonderful gifts. First, I would like to thank you for the many
hand-written cards. It means so much to me that you have taken the
time to personally write to us, even though you don't know us. When
you say that you appreciate our service in your own hand writing, it
is very special and definitely believable. Thank you so much. And, I
really enjoy the paintings and pictures on the front of the cards. I
regret to say that I never gave much time to the paintings on cards
when I was home. Over here, the pictures bring back many memories of
home and growing up. I have cut out the front of many cards and placed
them around my room on the plywood walls. Winter pictures of birds,
old houses with the US flag hung on the porch, winter scenes, etc -
such great pictures.
The evenings can be lonely and oftentimes I look
at the pictures and daydream. Thank you. I also appreciate the other
eatable gifts. Whoever is selecting the gifts really knows what they
are doing. They are perfect for us. I will introduce you to "us" in a
minute. We have a team office on our Camp Stone. We walk a little more
than one-half mile out of our base and on the Afghan Army base, to the
hospital where we work. Before we leave our office for the morning
walk, we enjoy a pot of coffee. The Starbucks coffee you are sending
is GREATLY appreciated. Finally, I wanted to share the attached
picture with you. Yesterday, I received two boxes from Homefront Hugs.
Inside of one of the boxes were two cute, fuzzy eggs that zipped open
with a little duck. Today, I had the opportunity to give one to a
little girl at the hospital. She was so cute and she laughed and
giggled when I gave it to her. I love doing nice things for the
Afghans and you are helping me do that.
I am the leader of a 13-member Navy healthcare team. We have
doctors, nurses, technicians all serving as mentors to Afghan Army
counterparts. We work in a new Afghan military hospital in Herat,
Afghanistan. The Afghan nurses and doctors are very eager to learn.
However, it is a very slow process. We were taught in our mentor
training that it takes about one year to accomplish here what we can
do in one day in our own hospitals at home. So, it can be very
frustrating, but yet, rewarding. Our biggest challenge is for the
Afghans to sustain what we teach them. Attached is a picture of my
team with our interpreters, standing in front of a new hospital
ambulance. We taught them how to drive and how to use the medical
equipment inside of each ambulance. We are here for one year and will
return home next summer. With 3 months of Army and mentor training, we
will be away from home for a total of 15 months.
Sometimes,we do wish,however, that there was a Crispy Creme donut place here. Not much we can do about that. I would like to close by saying thank you for
taking time out of your busy days to encourage us and express your
appreciation. Until next time, thank you.
Captain, U.S.Navy "
www.HomefrontHugs.org for info to be a part of a special organization !
Happy Holidays to everyone...stay safe and warm and cozy...wherever you are.