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April Monthly Newsletter 2017

Get Peeps Before they are Gone!

Move America Forward proudly offers squishy, yummy Peeps in our seasonal Easter Troop Care Packages!

We know our troops miss their families and there is truly no place like home, so at MAF we try to make sure we bring some of our American traditions to our troops no matter how far from home they may be. We know it is important that our troops have a physical reminder that we care about them and are thinking of them and have not forgotten about them. So while they may miss out on Easter egg hunts and baskets full of goodies, they can still enjoy a great big care package full of love from home. Nothing lifts the spirits of our troops like a note from home including a personal note of support from you! When you send a care package through Move America Forward, we include space for you to write your very own note of support. You don’t need to be Shakespeare or Hemingway to let out troops know you value them, they will appreciate your kind words and encouragement more than you can ever know.

Easter is full of traditions and one tradition MAF like to carry on is our commitment to making sure our seasonal Easter packages for our troops contain Peeps in addition to items soldiers crave like, Rogers Family gourmet coffee, beef jerky, Oreo cookies, Gatorade, lip balm, Dude Wipes, deodorant and more offerings to remind our troops that home isn’t really that far away after all.

 

Easter is Sunday, April 16!


Most of our deployed soldiers are used to spending holidays away from loved ones but let’s make sure they know we are thinking about them and sending our love today. Peeps are only available for a limited time, so don’t miss out on this opportunity to include this iconic Easter classic in your troop support package.



EASTER CARE PACKAGES INCLUDE:

Easter Marshmallow Peeps® Bunnies, Mixed Nuts & Trail Mix, Gourmet Coffee from Rogers Family Co., Hot Apple Cider, Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate, Genuine Oreo Cookies, Gatorade, Premium Beef Jerky, Military Boot Socks, Cera’Ve Skin Moisturizer, Deodorant, Lip Balm, Sunblock, Playing Cards, Phone Cards, Military OneSource Resource Packet, Shampoo, Veteran’s Crisis Line Info Card, Books & Magazines, and more, plus a Personal Note from YOU!


Meet our Troops!

We are often asked How we know which soldiers are waiting for packages and if they really need or appreciate receiving a package from a virtual stranger. Well, as you know MAF has fulfilling our mission of supporting our deployed troops for well over a decade now and during that time we have developed many avenues to help our deployed soldiers receive packages from home.  

One of those tools we use is our Soldier Sign Up page.  Soldiers can sign up for packages through our secure Soldier Sign Up system. Recently, there has been a BIG surge in our Soldier Sign-up Program on our website. This program allows soldiers to sign-up to receive care packages from us and over the past two months we’ve had HUNDREDS of troops requesting care packages for themselves and their brothers and sisters on the front lines.

With so many troops still overseas fighting the War on Terror, there is still an enormous need to support our men and women in uniform. There are up to 18,000 troops now deployed in Iraq (5,000) and Afghanistan (13,000), as well as some 500 special forces in Syria.

We are working hard to fulfill all the soldier sign-up requests and make sure that all our brave men and women of the military receive the care package that they requested!



These powerful words from our deployed troops humble us and remind us we are making a difference in the daily lives of our deployed troops.  If you are interested in supporting one of our troops like Loida, why not take the time to send one of our waiting troops a care package full of great treats like beef jerky, coffee, socks, personal care items, and best of all a personal note of support from you.

Your support makes a world of difference to our troops. Thanks for all you do!


Troopathon 10:
Save the Date!


We will be sending out details soon on our Annual Troopathon 10 Live Event!  

We couldn’t be more excited about our upcoming Troopathon 10 Live Event coming this summer. Mark your calendar now and we will update you once we have more details!

We will be sending out emails, posting on Facebook, and Tweeting to keep you posted as we line up this year’s  exciting guest list, so if you haven’t already, LIKE us on Facebook and FOLLOW us on Twitter now. And as always, thank you for standing behind our troops and offering them the support they deserve!

 

Registering a Soldier is Easy

Registering a soldier to receive support packages is free and easy. If you have the address of someone deployed on active military duty, click here for our Military Sign-Up Center or copy this link (http://www.moveamericaforward.org/soldier-sign-up/) and e-mail it to them so they can sign-up themselves.

Once signed up they’ll be eligible to receive packages and messages of support from caring fellow Americans.

 

Our Monthly Smiles  Club Keeps Morale High Year Round

Set up to schedule a monthly troop support package now and we will remember to send a package out through our Monthly Smiles Club for you each month. Our Monthly Smiles Club provides an easy way to keep those smiles coming all year long!



At the bottom of a care package donation form there is an option to select either a one-time gift or join monthly smiles. Just click where it says “Yes, I would like to make a Recurring Gift” and choose the frequency you wish to send.



The default we recommend is every 1 month, meaning 12 care packages per year. If you change the number, the system will skip the intervening months.

So, for example:
 

That’s all there is to it. Then you’ll know each month you’ve put a smile on a soldier’s face. Our Director of Troop Support, Lisa Baron personally oversees our Monthly Smiles program and she will make sure that your monthly package contains a personal message from you to the troops with every package we ship out on your behalf.

We can also set up programs that send packages out for all the different holidays through the year. We have members who send out packages for Easter, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, and others who send out packages every other month or even quarterly. We’re here to help with whatever you or your company, group or organization wants to do to support the troops. There’s no obligation, and you can stop sending packages at any time. Plus Monthly Smiles donations are always 100% tax deductible!

If you have questions about setting up a Monthly Smiles program for holidays only or would just like additional information, contact Lisa Baron, our Monthly Smiles Director at LisaBaron@MoveAmericaForward.org.

 

We’re a top-rated non-profit for the 4th year in a row!
MAF gets top-rating again from Great Nonprofits Org for 2014-2017


We are proud to announce Move America Forward has been honored with the prestigious 2017 Top-Rated Award by GreatNonprofits, the leading provider of user reviews about nonprofit organizations.

“We are excited to be named a Top-Rated 2017 Nonprofit,” says Scott Raab, our Outreach Coordinator “For the fourth year in a row we have been named a top charity supporting our troops. We work hard every day to make sure our supporters know we appreciate their time and effort. Without them, nothing MAF does would be possible. The gift of a care package is so much more than just the goodies and most requested items we send, it is the comforts of home to warriors that serve so far away overseas.”



The Top-Rated Nonprofit award was based on the large number of positive reviews that Move America Forward received. People posted their personal experience with the nonprofit. For example, one of our supporters wrote, “They offer care packages to deployed military members, free of charge. My husband loves getting mail, it reminds them of home- and lets them know people (even complete strangers) are thinking about them and acknowledge the sacrifice they are making by serving their country.”

Huge thanks to all of our supporters or donors who wrote positive comments on our page. Your help and support allowed us to obtain this top rating again and we are very grateful!

 


TROOP TWEETS @M_A_F



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Amazon Smile: Shop AND Support the Troops at the Same Time!

Move America Forward is now partnering with Amazon.com and participating in their Amazon Smile Non-Profit Program, where Amazon donates a portion of whatever you order to MAF so we can send even more support packages to our troops!

How does Amazon Smile Work?

It’s simple: All you have to do is use the link below to select Move America Forward as the charity you would like to support and a small portion of what you buy on Amazon.com is donated. No extra cost to you, just extr
a support for our brave defenders for buying the things you normally would. It’s a WIN-WIN!  

CLICK HERE TO SET UP AMAZON SMILE

Millions of Americans already use Amazon to purchase clothes, books and movies to tech gadgets, or almost anything you can think of. Chances are, if you’ve ever bought anything on-line, you have probably used Amazon.com at least once or twice.

Now with Amazon Smile, you can support Move America Forward at no cost to you, simply by buying the same things you would have bought anyway.

Prices are the same, shipping is the same, and nothing changes except Amazon donates .05% of your purchase to MAF on your behalf!

Share MAF with a Friend

The more soldiers that register, the more we need to reach out to individuals, groups and organizations who’d like to show their support. If you know an individual, company or organization who’d like to support our troops, would you please pass this newsletter along, or copy this link and e-mail it: Monthly Newsletters Archive



Great Non Profits Check out one of our latest reviews!


Easter 7 Days Away

JUST ONE WEEK LEFT
EASTER CARE PACKAGE GOAL
$20,000!


So far we have raised $5,539 towards our goal. With only 7 DAYS LEFT until Easter we’ve got to pick up the pace. Please donate today or let others know about this effort to support our troops!

Did you know we have over 15,500+ troops in Afghanistan, Iraq & Syria over Easter who NEED our prayers and support?


During one of the most important religious holidays of the year our troops miss their families at home, so it’s extremely important to let our troops know that they have our support!

We have set a big goal for ourselves to raise $20,000 for our troops by Easter Sunday. It’s not going to be easy because so far we’ve only raised about $2,400 towards our goal, so we have our work cut our for us!



If you have already donated, THANK YOU. If you have not yet sponsored an Easter Care Package, please consider it! You can make a donation for as low as $24.99. If you simply can’t afford to make a donation, you can still help by spreading the word to other troop supporters.

You can help by telling your friends and family about these care packages.
1. FORWARD this email to at least 5 friends of family members.
2. TWEET about Easter Care Packages for the troops on Twitter.
3. SHARE this e-mail on Facebook and LIKE Move America Forward’s page!


Easter (April 16th) is the most important holiday to Christian Americans. Christians come together in a few weeks to remember the death and resurrection of Jesus, which is the single most important event in the story of Christianity.

During this time, let us remember our brave men and women who are overseas defending the rights and liberties we so enjoy.

May we never forget our freedom to celebrate Easter comes from the selfless acts of individuals from all walks of life who simply fight for a free nation.

As we reflect and give thanks for all the goodness in our lives, lets also remember those men and women who every day, are fighting to preserve our freedoms and liberties we so cherish.

We ask that you join us in praying for our troops, that God will watch over them and protect them on their difficult deployments in Iraq & Afghanistan.

To help our troops this important Easter holiday we’ve made Easter Care Packages for the Troops available for you to sponsor. Give our troops some much deserved support and offer a message of gratitude. Click here to donate now!
 

Here are the special holiday-themed items we’re including in our EASTER CARE PACKS.



When you think of traditional Easter candy and treats, aren’t these the exact items that come to mind? Send some to our troops!

March Monthly Newsletter (2017)


With Easter around the corner we want to highlight our support effort for the troops of Forward Operating Base Gamberi in Afghanistan.

 
We’ve had contact from multiple troops stationed here and they’ve told us that their remote outpost could use the help of some care packages to remind them of home. We need to get them some supplies that are just too hard to come by in Afghanistan to help the troops of FOB Gamberi.

Out troops work long, arduous hours in dangerous conditions, and the least we can do is show our love and support.

Please take a moment to read this touching note from Donald A., a soldier currently deployed to TB Gamberi which highlights the importance of support to our deployed troops.

“It is truly an honor and a privilege to have such respect and support from those in whom we have never met. We do what we do over here because someone has to. To go out your way to make that mean just a little bit more by sending a care package to those of us that have been called to serve overseas means the world to the lot of us. I say thank you for thanking us in one of the many ways you know how. Thank you.”  — Donald A. – United States Army, Afghanistan

With the help of our great troop support system, we are confident we will reach our goal and not leave our waiting troops empty handed!


Click here to donate now!

Mule Creek State Prison Goes R.E.D. to Support our Troops!


Prior to the holiday season, MAF was contacted by staff members from Mule Creek State Prison (MCSP) here in California with a program they had developed to show their support for our troops.  According to MCSP spokesperson Sandra, “Our MCSP staff wanted to have a way to send care packages to our deployed troops while at the same time showing our support in a meaningful way.”

With that goal in mind, a staff member at MCSP designed a special shirt for the staff at MCSP and their family members to purchase and wear on Fridays, called R.E.D shirts that not only showed their visible support for our troops but also raised the funds necessary to send a whopping $3,200.00 in care packages to our troops!

So what are the R.E.D. shirts exactly? R.E.D. stands for (Remember Everyone Deployed) and that is exactly what MCSP has done through their awesome fund-raising program.  Thanks to MCSP, over 125 waiting troops will benefit from great care packages full of awesome goodies like coffee from our partners at Rogers Family Coffee and sweet treats including cookies, candy and premium jerky not to mention lots of great personal care items and sturdy, warm boot socks to protect the feet of our hard working troops.

According to Sandra, “100% of the profits were given to M.A.F. Care Package Program!”  MCSP staff really believes in our mission and the importance of supporting our troops.

”These men and women who are deployed overseas serving our country need to be reminded how much we not only care and appreciate them, but we are humbled at their courage and are thinking about them daily,” stated Sandra who went on to add “It was easy for us to develop our contribution method and was rewarding to see our staff and community come together as a team and create a very lucrative donation.”

Move America Forward was honored to have members of the MCSP staff drop in to present us personally with their contribution and to pitch in while they were there. The representatives for MCSP assured us they would be honored to participate in another drive of this sort in the future which is great news for us and for our many waiting troops.

When asked about their experience with working with MAF, Sandra was very gracious in saying “On behalf of MCSP, we are grateful for the opportunity to come together as a whole to contribute to the support of our troops overseas.”

Here at MAF we are always looking at ways to help our supporters with special programs they may want to implement in support of our troops, so if you have a program like this or an idea of your own, please contact Scott Raab, MAF’s Outreach Director, at sraab@moveamericaforward.org.

Thanks again to all the staff and family members of Mule Creek State Prison who took the time to support our troops through their R.E.D. shirt program!

Art from the Heart!



We love to send a big long distance hug showing our support to our troops for Valentine’s Day and to make it extra special, each year we enlist an enthusiastic army of young artists and budding writers to create extra special one-of-a-kind Valentine’s Day cards to include in our packages.  

Schools, church and youth groups both near and far delivered with bright  and cheery home-made Valentine’s Day Cards full of the kind of love only a child can convey to be included in our troop support packages.

Jean Klark, once again coordinated the efforts of a variety of youth groups and families for Dexter United Methodist Church in Dexter, Michigan to create beautiful Valentine’s cards that are sure to bring a big smile!

Local Sacramento schools including Capital Christian School, Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary School, Sacred Heart Parish School and Holy Spirit Parish School all pitched in to deliver great cards our troops will always treasure.  What a great way for our troops to know they matter,

Rannae Hansen of Greenwood Elementary in Toledo, Ohio and her 3rd grade class participated once again this year and according to Mrs. Hansen, “The kids are so excited to participate, it really makes the feel special knowing a real hero will be receiving on of their cards!”

And a special thank you to Victory Christian School in Carmichael, CA and Dora Marques for your support in this project over the years.

Thanks to Megan Anderson of Wilmington, Delaware for the extra special hot cocoa packets with candy cane stirrers for our troops to enjoy!

We love doing this coordinated effort with the schools, it allows people of all ages to reach out to our troops and show them they are loved and supported during their long and often difficult deployments away from family and loved one.


P.S. – Check out this Great Note!


“Hello!

In the week leading up to September 11, 2016, Central Library hosted a donation drive + letter writing campaign. People were encouraged to donate items that active duty military (and military service animals) could use, as well as to write letters to these soldiers. The items and letters collected were gathered and distributed by Move America Forward, “a military charity and the nation’s largest grassroots pro-troop organization.” In addition to materials and letters solicited from our staff and patrons, I told my daughter’s teacher about this, and she had her eighth grade class write letters to the soldiers.

Yesterday, unbeknownst to the students or the teacher, one of the soldiers who received one of these letters visited their school (Penryn Elementary, in Placer County). As it turns out, he also attended Penryn Elementary as a child! He talked to the students about how much their letters meant, joked “You think school lunch is bad? You should see what we were eating in Afghanistan!” and told them that response letters had been written, and then mistakenly included in a supply drop to troops elsewhere in Afghanistan. Each student was given a patch, and he told them all the patches had been worn by the soldiers that had received their letters.

I thought this was such a great story, so I just had to share!”

Thanks,
Jennifer H.
Sacramento Public Library

Registering a Soldier is Easy

Registering a soldier to receive support packages is free and easy. If you have the address of someone deployed on active military duty, click here for our Military Sign-Up Center or copy this link (http://www.moveamericaforward.org/soldier-sign-up/) and e-mail it to them so they can sign-up themselves.

Once signed up they’ll be eligible to receive packages and messages of support from caring fellow Americans.

Our Monthly Smiles  Club Keeps Morale High Year Round

Set up to schedule a monthly troop support package now and we will remember to send a package out through our Monthly Smiles Club for you each month. Our Monthly Smiles Club provides an easy way to keep those smiles coming all year long!



At the bottom of a care package donation form there is an option to select either a one-time gift or join monthly smiles. Just click where it says “Yes, I would like to make a Recurring Gift” and choose the frequency you wish to send.



The default we recommend is every 1 month, meaning 12 care packages per year. If you change the number, the system will skip the intervening months.

So, for example:
 

That’s all there is to it. Then you’ll know each month you’ve put a smile on a soldier’s face. Our Director of Troop Support, Lisa Baron personally oversees our Monthly Smiles program and she will make sure that your monthly package contains a personal message from you to the troops with every package we ship out on your behalf.

We can also set up programs that send packages out for all the different holidays through the year. We have members who send out packages for Easter, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, and others who send out packages every other month or even quarterly. We’re here to help with whatever you or your company, group or organization wants to do to support the troops. There’s no obligation, and you can stop sending packages at any time. Plus Monthly Smiles donations are always 100% tax deductible!

If you have questions about setting up a Monthly Smiles program for holidays only or would just like additional information, contact Lisa Baron, our Monthly Smiles Director at LisaBaron@MoveAmericaForward.org.


TROOP TWEETS @M_A_F


Check us out on Facebook!

Great Non Profits Check out one of our latest reviews!


Amazon Smile: Shop AND Support the Troops at the Same Time!

Move America Forward is now partnering with Amazon.com and participating in their Amazon Smile Non-Profit Program, where Amazon donates a portion of whatever you order to MAF so we can send even more support packages to our troops!

How does Amazon Smile Work?

It’s simple: All you have to do is use the link below to select Move America Forward as the charity you would like to support and a small portion of what you buy on Amazon.com is donated. No extra cost to you, just extr
a support for our brave defenders for buying the things you normally would. It’s a WIN-WIN!  

CLICK HERE TO SET UP AMAZON SMILE

Millions of Americans already use Amazon to purchase clothes, books and movies to tech gadgets, or almost anything you can think of. Chances are, if you’ve ever bought anything on-line, you have probably used Amazon.com at least once or twice.

Now with Amazon Smile, you can support Move America Forward at no cost to you, simply by buying the same things you would have bought anyway.

Prices are the same, shipping is the same, and nothing changes except Amazon donates .05% of your purchase to MAF on your behalf!

Share MAF with a Friend

The more soldiers that register, the more we need to reach out to individuals, groups and organizations who’d like to show their support. If you know an individual, company or organization who’d like to support our troops, would you please pass this newsletter along, or copy this link and e-mail it: Monthly Newsletters Archive


Do you have unused or unwanted gift cards?

Now, you can use them to sponsor care packages for one of our brave men or women of the military.  Not only will you brighten the day of one of America’s finest, but your gift card donation to Move America Forward is also tax deductible, a win-win!

For every $25 dollars in gift cards we receive, we will send a care package in your name. Click here to get started!


As always, special thanks go out to our Sponsors!:





You can help make the daily routine of our troops serving in Afghanistan and Iraq a little more bearable.

Nothing brings a serviceman or woman more joy than knowing that someone back home is thankful and thinking of them while they are on deployment. Care packages include a wonderful array of high quality food, snacks, and hygiene items that troops overseas consistently request.