February 2020 Newsletter
We Love You Rush!
When Rush cried, we all cried.
Rush Limbaugh, one of the greatest American Patriots, has now been honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom during the President’s State of the Union address. It couldn’t have come at a more perfect time for Rush. When I heard the news that he was ill, I felt like I had been sucker punched.
I was listening to Rush Limbaugh (as I do every day) puttering around town, doing errands and enjoying the bright California sunshine. By the time I got out of my car, and into a restaurant – the world changed, my world had changed.
Rush Limbaugh with Advanced Lung Cancer? It just can’t be. I don’t want it to be. Rush is always a constant background sound in my life and certainly in the lives of millions of his fans for the past 31 years.
I have known Rush since I was a 16-year old kid in radio working at a small station in the middle of a corn field in suburban Kansas City. Rush and I reconnected after I left for San Francisco, and he took over the airwaves in Sacramento, where a mutual friend of ours, Ed McLaughlin, heard this nascent radio genius and signed him up for a syndicated program that took the country by storm.
Rush Limbaugh has been the single largest contributor to our great charity organization Move America Forward, which as you know, sends care packages to our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and other hotspots around the world. Rush has donated millions of dollars through our annual Troopathon event, without grandstanding or boasting about the many kindnesses he has done for me and hundreds of other charities over the years.
Rush’s devotion to our troops is unparalleled. Between his trip to Afghanistan (done in secret) to his years of participation in the yearly Troopathon broadcast, Rush has done his level best to acknowledge and honor the sacrifice and service our of our brave military men and women.
I came up with the idea for a live TV broadcast as a fundraiser to send care packages to our troops in 2008, at that time the war in Iraq was not going well at all, Rush ‘rushed’ in to help.
I will never forget him emphatically stating “Mel, I want to be part of this. Yes, yes I’ll do it!”
Rush is the highlight of every Troopathon, he has appeared at every broadcast in the intervening years. Each Troopathon, Rush sets aside time to send out his personal message of troop support as well as urging others to contribute to our great cause.
Right now, I’m asking everyone to offer prayers for Rush’s return to health, for his wife Katherine, his brother David, and his cousin Andy as well as his many nieces and nephews. Please take a moment from your busy day to remember Rush and to lift him up in your prayers.
And remember…. Rush is a talent on loan from GOD.
With Love to All,
Chairman, Move America Forward
A Hug from the Home-Front
Nothing says love like a handmade card, especially one from our youngest and most ardent citizen, our school children! Check out their beautiful support efforts just for our troops.
A beloved Valentine’s Day tradition continues as Move America Forward collaborated with school, church and community partners to make sure our Valentine’s troop care packages contain special treats including homemade and hand written Valentine’s Day cards full of sweet messages of love and support. It’s just like receiving a long distance hug from home.
Schools from the Sacramento area and across the country worked hard making adorable home-made Valentine’s Day cards to be included in our troop support packages.
Take a moment to read about some of our awesome Valentine’s Day card partners who help ensure our troops feel the love coming their way as they serve far from home and loved one.
Once again, Jean Klark coordinated the efforts of a variety of youth groups and families and individuals for Dexter United Methodist Church in Dexter, Michigan to create beautiful Valentine’s Day cards that they generously donated to our project. There is nothing like a real card in your care package to bring a smile to your day and your heart. Thanks Jean and thank you to everyone at Dexter United Methodist!
Local Sacrament schools Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary School and Capital Christian School have once again delivered in a big way with beautiful hand crafted cards sure to bring a grin to a homesick troops.
Carrie Donohue of Presentation School coordinated everything seamlessly to make sure their school would be well represented. We are extremely excited to see all of their student’s cards that we can proudly include in our care packages. Bless you to the staff and students of Presentation, you are true angels.
As always, we can count on the great students and staff at Capital Christian School in Sacramento. With the help of our contact Katie Nelson, Capital Christian contributed one-of-a-kind homemade cards for the troops. Thanks Cougars! We loved your cards!
Friend to MAF, Rannae Hansen of Greenwood Elementary in Toledo, Ohio and her students take their civil duty seriously while enjoying it at the same time. According to Mrs. Hansen, “The students really enjoy the opportunity to make these cards for the troops, they really put their hearts into this project.” Thanks kids and Mrs Hansen, what a treat!
We cherish doing this coordinated effort with the schools, churches and community groups each year. We love that 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.
Thank you to these groups and all others who helped to bring a big smile to our troops this Valentine’s and throughout the year with their care packages, volunteerism and personal sacrifices. We could never do it without you!
Valentine’s Day care packages will include the letters from the students as well as special treats like candy conversations hearts with fun and iconic messages to our troops like “Be Mine,” “Hugs” and “Love You”.
You can sponsor a Valentine’s Day care package HERE.
Wounder Warrior Project Volunteers join MAF Packing Party
No one knows what it feels like to receive a care package from home like someone who has been deployed. Our Wounded Warriors Project volunteers know what service and sacrifice truly mean.
Move America Forward coordinates with dozens of groups and individuals over the course of the year who gladly donate their time to come into our Sacramento headquarters to help us pack our care packages and get them ready to ship off to our troops.
One of our favorite groups we work with are the volunteers from Northern California region of Wounded Warrior Project. Having served themselves, they come armed with memories of what it means to serve their country and the impact it was for them personally to receive a beloved care package from home. We have been partnering with Wounded Warrior project for years and they are also a supporter of our annual Troopathon.
Thanks to our friends at Wounded Warrior Project, in one short day we were able to assemble and pack up over 500 jam packed boxes that come to our troops brimming with all kinds of great stuff.
Share your love with our troops
Joining our Monthly Smiles Adopt-a-Troop Program takes the hassle out of planning. With a click of the button you are all set for ongoing troop support with no strings attached.
Ordering a package today but don’t want the hassle of writing it down on your calendar so you can remember to do it again? Set up to schedule a monthly adopt a troop support package now and we will remember to send a package out through our Monthly Smiles Adopt-a-Troop Program for you each month. Our Monthly Smiles Club provides an easy way to keep those smiles coming all year long!
When you order a care package through our website, At the bottom of a care package donation form there is an option to select either a one-time gift or the option to send packages all year round. Just click the box where it says “Yes, I Would Like to send packages all year round, then choose the frequency you wish to send from our pull down menu and continue to check out and you are all set!
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 [email protected]