August 2021 Newsletter
INALLIANCE: Supporting our Troops with a Dedicated Team of Volunteers
For over 65 years, INALLIANCE has helped support individuals living with developmental disabilities. According to their mission statement, “INALLIANCE supports the belief that people with developmental disabilities have an absolute right and responsibility to participate fully and equally in society and to maximize their own quality of life.”
Part of that commitment is helping to place volunteers in situations where they can contribute and make a real difference. Move America Forward is lucky enough to have some very dedicated INALLIANCE volunteers who regularly come in to help us assemble and prep our care packages to ship to our troops.
Steve Giammona, of INALLAINCE works as a Job Developer in the Community Training Program, and according to Steve, what really sets INALLIANCE apart is that the participants find placements based on their interest and aren’t just randomly placed in job or volunteer opportunities to fill a requirement.
“INALLIANCE is person-centered and that’s what sets us apart. What’s really unique is that each participant works one-on-one with a job coach that helps them get to their assignment and offers on-site support based on the individual needs of that participant. Some participants require a good deal of coaching and some need very little. It’s really tailored to the personal needs of each individual,” remarked Steve.
Emma, the first INALLAINCE member to join our team of volunteers comes in for several shifts a week. Emma has a particular interest in all things military, making volunteering at Move America Forward a natural fit for her, helping us pack and prep boxes destined for the troops. This enhances the volunteer experience she receives.
“MAF is awesome they’re so nice and friendly and I care about supporting the troops. They’re like my family. I love working here, they get where I am coming from!” said Emma.
Emma’s Direct Support Professional, Brenda, agrees, “I think MAF is amazing and I am grateful to be a part of it!” added Brenda.
Like Emma, Brooks is also very pro-troop as he comes from a military family himself. Brooks’ father served in the Navy so Brooks loves coming in to volunteer and enjoys working with our Outreach Director Scott Raab, a Navy veteran himself.
“I enjoy doing this to show my appreciation to our military and support the troops in any way I can. My brother and my father both served in Afghanistan. This it he least I can do,” said Brooks.
Connor also enjoys the hard work he does packing and prepping boxes at MAF, “I enjoy coming to volunteer my time to show support to the peoples who protect our country,” stated Connor. Connor was joined recently with his INALLIANCE case worker Markell who added, “I really love to support and give a hand when I can. Helping them has been such a joy. I appreciate what they do for us here at home and I hope this volunteering shows them my thankfulness for them.”
“Scott is super accommodating, when we reached out to him to see about setting up volunteer opportunities, he was completely open to it. He understands that each person has their own set of abilities and is just happy that the INALLIANCE volunteers just want to help out and contribute to their communities,” said Steve
“All our participants are different individuals, Michael, he just likes to work so it’s great he can come in and work hard, that’s what makes him happy. They love that they are there, they want to be useful and they are.” continued Steve.
Scott agrees, “I know when Connor, Emma, Michael or Brooks are on the schedule it’s going to be a fun and productive day in the warehouse. It’s great to have the INALLIANCE team come in to pitch in. We really count on their efforts to help get those care packages ready for our troops.”
With every aspect of our care packages, we do our best to make sure out troops receive a top-notch care package filled with great items like boot socks, personal care items, premium coffee, necessities and treats, and of course an encouraging note from home thanks to our amazing supporters, and thanks to INALLIANCE, we have some very dedicated volunteers to help make our mission a huge success.
Country Duo Poppyiris Share Their Love of the USA and our Troops
Award winning country duo Poppyiris loves our country and our troops and have even sent care packages through our troop support program to let our deployed troops know just how much they are appreciated and to remind them that they are not forgotten.
DeeDee O’Malley and Mike Lusk form the hot country duo behind Poppyiris. The duo, after forming in 2016, made their debut in Los Angeles at the iconic Country General Store to a standing room only crowd and have traveled from Mike’s hometown of Nashville to DeeDee’s Los Angeles digs wooing crowds with their romantic, American style.
In fact, it was their roots and their nod to their uniquely romantic style that led to the duo choosing the name Poppyiris. DeeDee chose the poppy, the state flower of California and Mike naturally chose his state flower, the iris to represent his Tennessee origins. “Of course flowers are such a romantic symbol”, said DeeDee, “We just knew the combination of the two flowers for our name was the perfect choice for our timeless romantic style.”
After having supported our troops through our care package program with songwriting partner and collaborator Cindy Walchov, the duo approached us with the opportunity to share their love by sharing their music. Check out their hit single “My Red White and Blue” below:
“We are very much into supporting our military in any way we can. We are very much aware of what our troops do, how much they sacrifice. After having traveled around the world with my music, it just really made me appreciate home. There is nothing like America. We love America, and we love our troops and just want to do what we can to show our support for them and for those who support our troops,” said DeeDee.
Listen to IMN’s #1 Pop Country duo Poppyiris perform MY RED WHITE AND BLUE HERE
“We are proud supporters of Troopathon and want to Thank each and every Patriot for donating care packages to our brave military and creating the highlight of their day” -Poppyiris
“My Red Red White and Blue” isn’t their only hit highlighting their love of country either, their pride in America is evident in their beautiful ballad “I Stand” and “Home Sweet Home.”
To learn more about Poppyiris and here check out their inspirational story, check out Poppyiris.
Thanks Poppyiris for showing your love for our troops and sharing your amazing music with our supporters.
Gourmet Coffee: Comforting, and Beloved by our Troops
There is no question, when it comes by to care packages, coffee is king! The number one item requested by our troops is coffee. Troops love the rich aroma and satisfying pick me up a hot cup of Joe provides.
Being deployed is a grind, fraught with boredom, loneliness and sometimes incredible danger. To help our troops start the day off right, or keep them alert during a long watch, coffee is essential. At Move America Forward, we don’t want our troops to have to go without a nice cup of premium coffee. The gourmet coffee we include in our care packages comes locally roasted from San Francisco Bay Coffee Company and gives our troops the opportunity to brew up a cup of superior Joe that stands head and shoulders above the plain grunt-coffee normally found in the chow hall!
Rest assured, when the troops receive your care package packed with all kids of goodness from home, they are definitely going to appreciate the premium coffee included in each box from home!
Thank You Travis Spouses Club for Supporting our Troops
All we can say is WOW! And a great big thank you to the members of the Travis Spouses Club who came through big with a HUGE $1,000 donation for our care package program. Travis Spouses Club is a unique blend of spouses of those currently serving on active duty, reserve, guard, retired and civil service who serve the Travis Air Force Base community.
The Travis Spouses Club supports the local community, as well as the military community, by taking part in charitable, social, community events and other opportunities such as volunteering.
Personal connection is key to enhancing the lives of those currently serving as well as those who are no longer actively serving. Having a group like the Travis Spouses Club helps members stay engaged and contributing which leads to a better outcome overall for our service families.
Being a military spouse can be stressful and often lonely, just watch the clip below from military spouse Jessica Mosier and her husband Master Sergeant Randal Mosier who share what it is like from their perspective.
That is why organizations like the Travis Spouses Club serve a key roll with keeping military families and spouses connected, engaged and supported.
What a surprise and honor it was for Move America Forward to have representative of the Travis Spouses Club drop by with their very generous donation of $1,000 raised by their members. Thanks to their members, a big shipment of packages loaded with all manner of supplies will soon be shipping out to some very deserving troops.
If you are a member of a group who would love to help out our troops, we are always looking for volunteers to help pack boxes and of course, your monetary donation will be put to great use, like this donation.