A Look Back at 2016!
As Americans we saw some big changes during the past year and now we look forward to a whole new year of possibilities. We at Move America Forward are thankful to have been able to continue our mission of support thanks to all our friends and supporters who have volunteered their time and resources to help ensure our troops are not forgotten
As a supporter of Move America Forward, your unwavering devotion to our troops is an inspiration to us and makes our mission of troop support possible. With your help we have been able support our deserving troops for another year filled with challenges and opportunities. We are excited to see what 2017 has in store!
Of course we just don’t have the space to review everything we did throughout the year but we couldn’t move forward without taking a few moments to look back and share some of the highlights and some of the biggest challenges we all faced of the last 12 months. It’s a great way to remind you, our supporters, of all the wonderful things we were able to do for our troops thanks to your donations and support!
January saw a flurry of thank notes from the troops coming in to Move America Forward as can be expected following the massive amount of packages shipped out during the Christmas rush, here are just a few excerpts from out notes to let you know how much the troops appreciated all the holiday goodies!
Here are a just a few we thought you would enjoy!
|Thanks for supporting the war fighters. The goodies and phone card are a great morale boost. The support from Move America Forward shows how great America is.
Thank you kindly,
|Thank you so much for all of the care packages! I don’t know who signed us up, but it was quite the welcome surprise at mail call…
Thank you for all you do + your continued support of us,
LT. Deidre C
|…No words can express how much impact your packages have on the service members who receive them.
Thank you seems too little to say.
SFC. Dale F
|I never knew there were so many kind people thinking about us. We are so grateful words cannot express.
Thank you again from the bottom of our hearts.
God Bless America,
SSG Kelly & Staff
February As part of our tradition at Move America Forward, during February we like to share our love and yours with our troops by sending out some amazing Valentine’s Care packages with special notes collected from adorable school children from all over the country. With the help of some local scouts, we were able to get many love filled packages on the way to our troops
Military families go through incredible strain from the difficulties of deployment. Husbands and wives use every method available to stay in touch, but it’s still difficult to maintain across thousands of miles of separation and months spent away from home. That’s why we like to send some long distance hugs to our troops to remind them that we care!
March With Spring arriving and Easter rounding out March, we highlighted our support effort for the members of the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit also known as “The Fighting Thirteenth” which was deploying for about 7 months, accompanied by the USS Boxer Amphibious Readiness Group. Thanks to all those who chose to “Answer the Call” and thanks to some very special volunteers who gave up their time to pack up over 600 packages we were able to get all the extra support packages for Easter, including extra treats like Marshmallow Peeps out to so many deployed troops just hoping for a little support from home.
April We love to help our supporters think outside the box when it comes to our troops. Thanks to Alta Vista Solutions who donated a 2012 Chevy Cruz to raise funds for troop care packages!
May Combat deployed U.S. Troops overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan enjoyed care packages and donated items from a regional effort by Sacramento area Motel 6 Hotels that supported non-profit organization Move America Forward’s Troop and K9 Care Package Program. All Sacramento region Motel 6 locations brought donated care packages items and supplies collected at their individual locations and spent the National Big Day of Giving volunteering at the Move America Forward Operation Center assembling Military Care Packages for U.S. Military serving in harm’s way in Afghanistan and Iraq.
June What a month! On June 23, 2016, MAF held our 9th Annual Troopathon live event broadcast live on Newsmax TV hosted by Melanie Morgan, Rita Cosby and John Bachman and live streamed on the internet from a cutting edge, high tech production studio in Sacramento, California, home of our headquarters. Troopathon 9 “Care Packages for Our Heroes,” capped off a month-long fundraising event to send care packages to the troops overseas for the summer.
Troopathon 9 culminated in a 6-hour live broadcast interview show with that brought together pro-troop movie stars, TV personalities, elected officials, professional athletes, musicians, talk radio hosts and many other supporters who encouraged viewers to sponsor care packages for the troops serving overseas.
July While things were hot, hot, hot in the Middle East, Move America Forward threw a big party here at home, a Packing Party, our biggest one to date!!
Thank you to all our sponsors who ordered troop support packages and all the great volunteers who came down to help us assemble the actual care packages! Thank you to all the volunteers, everyone who spread the word and especially to our friends at TRAVIS and BEALE that took time to come down to help us pack. We had an incredible group full of familiar faces and people who have never visited us before. And they packed over 840 care packages in the first shift a new record!
Hundreds of boxes were packed, labeled, and made ready to ship!
August With the dog days of summer upon us, Move America Forward thought it was the perfect time to update out packages for our furry troops, the hardworking military K9!
Military Working Dogs have been used for years by our men and women in uniform deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Our K-9 care packages include special dog-goggles to protect sensitive eyes from dirt and debris. And we were proud to announce that we would now include KONG Brand durable dog toys in our K9 packs. These dogs work hard, but play time is an important part of training and bonding with their human partners.
That’s why we were very proud and thankful to the Kong Company for helping us get these KONG dog toys into our boxes.
September For the fourth year in a row, MAF was invited by John Vinson and his family to help them install a memorial flag display to mark the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
John Vinson said that when he heard about what had happened in New York City he picked up an American flag and went to a freeway overpass and simply waved it proudly and defiantly at the enemy, for all the passing motorists to see. Those that passed by and saw him waving the colors honked and cheered and encouraged him.
John continues to fly the flag every 9/11, in 2016 he has well over 3,000 flags to fly including 2,977 flags to remember each victim of the 9/11 attacks. John has moved from the freeway overpass to a field in view of a busy street in West Sacramento. The Vinson family continue to fly the flags in defiance of those who would try to destroy our freedom.
October We had the good fortune of receiving some large donations of much needed products to send to the troops. From tough and thick wool boot socks just like military-issued ones, to many boxes of gourmet coffee and personal hygiene items like soap, bug repellent, foot powder, face cream and many other items. Our warehouse was overfilled with them! We had to get these boxes moved out of our warehouse to make space, so the best solution was to ship them to the troops that need them the most!
Through Operation Mail Call, we were able to raise the extra postage necessary to ship out much of this huge windfall of goods to our troops.
November is a time to give thanks and we wanted to take a moment to thank Corporate Sponsors Guideposts, Paradies and San Francisco Bay Coffee Company for their awesome donations of inspirational and practical reading materials, treats for our troops and gourmet coffees for our deployed service members. Our care packages are truly special thanks to the additions from these sponsors.
Special Thanks to our Friends at Wounded Warrior Project volunteers, Scouts from Troop 446 and the volunteers from ARC who helped us pack up over 500 packages for the holidays.
December found Move America Forward Giving Thanks to all our Volunteers who helped Us Get Care Packages out to our Troops for Christmas! Christmas is always a busy time at Move America Forward, but we could not have gotten all those packages stuff and shipped without our selfless volunteers when worked right up to Christmas making sure our troops were looked after for Christmas. Thanks for Helping out! We just could not have done it without you.
Christmas Support a Big Success, Thanks You!!
We asked you to help make sure our troops would receive packages during the holidays, a tough time for our troops to be away from family and loved ones. Move America Forward offer our sincerest THANK YOU to all the people, companies, groups and organizations who stepped up to send Thanksgiving and Christmas packages and messages of support. You loving and visible support made it a little easier for our troops during this year when other concerns often push their needs into the background. Thanks to your generosity and support, the holidays were brighter for thousands of American soldiers.
If you sent a package and have not yet received a thank you, please be patient. Sometimes it’s very hard or even impossible for a soldier to drop a note in the mail, as much as you would all love to hear back from the soldier you have sponsored.
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.
Companies Who Stepped up to the Plate
Companies are often eager to support our troops through our Corporate Sponsorship Support Program. By raising funds doing everything from selling dress down days to holding bake sales and even holding silent auctions, hundreds of corporate support packages have reached our troops! Thanks to Corporate Sponsors The Schwartz Foundation and many more, many troops have received packages with special letters from their corporate partners. If your company would like more information on how you can send support packages through Move America Forward, contact lisabaron@MoveAmericaForward.org, and Lisa will be happy to help you put your own corporate program together.
It’s a New Year, Start it out with a Smile!
The Christmas season can be so hectic that sometimes we just don’t quite get around to checking everything off our “To Do” list. If you intended on sending a care package to our troops for Christmas and just never got around to it, why not take the time to start of the New Year with a gift to our hard-working troops?
As an added bonus we’ve made it so simple to join our Monthly Smiles Program. When checking out just check the button that says you want to join the Monthly Smiles Program and you can make sure our troops are looked after all year long.
We need a few Budding Young Artists!
We know our troops miss their kids while they are a world away serving on behalf of us all. We want to make sure our troops will have a smile on their face and in their hearts when they open a package including beautiful homemade Valentine’s from school children. We are inviting school children from across the nation to send us their Valentine’s Cards to be included in our special Valentine’s packages for our troops.
Our goal is to have every state in the nation represented in our special Valentine’s Care Packages for the troops, which include our regular care package goodies plus some extra special Valentine’s goodies to let the troops know there is lots of love coming their way.
If your child’s school would like to participate, email our Director of Troop Support, Lisa Baron LisaBaron@MoveAmericaForward.org
Let’s share our love with our troops this Valentine’s Day!
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New Year, New Opportunity to Show our Troops some Love!
We are so thankful for our supporters and your continued support for our troops, even with all the care packages we sent for Christmas, we are still receiving requests every day from troops who are just hoping someone will take a few moments to sponsor a package on their behalf.
If you would like to send a package to some of our new troops who have yet to receive a package, now is your opportunity! Meet a few of our troops just waiting for you.
Meet our Troops