October 2023 Newsletter

Hocus Pocus Time to Focus on Our Troops

Notice the bite of Fall in the air? Indeed, leaves begin to turn gold and red and evening takes on a decided chill. Thus, our thoughts naturally turn to childhood fun. We imagine legions of little ghosts and goblins hitting the streets proclaiming “Trick or Treat!” Help us bring a small bit of that celebration to our troops serving far away. Of course, like magic, our Halloween themed packages will include yummy seasonal treats and colorful candy corn.

Certainly, it doesn’t take a crystal ball to know our troops will appreciate some extra special Halloween fun. Unfortunately, our deployed troops will not be able to celebrate with their families. However, with your help, troops can still get a little treat from the folks back home and let them know you haven’t forgotten their service as many have.

Without a doubt, soldiers often see a nice bump in packages during the Christmas season. Why wait for months to show you care?  In fact, some of these brave men and women never see packages from home.

Why don’t you take a moment to send a package now?  DONATE HERE

Halloween Candy Buy Back Helps to Haul in the Treats!!

Time for some good old-fashioned spooky fun. With Halloween sneaking upon us we are gearing up for our annual Halloween Candy Buy Back Program. Back in 2013, Move America Forward launched our Halloween Candy Buyback Program with help from Surf Side Dental and the Lakeview PTO at Lakeview Elementary School in El Dorado Hills, CA.  Since then, we have  been the charity partner for the National Halloween Candy Buy Back Program!!!

We accept candy and dental hygiene donations nationwide. Donations help meet the need for our military care packages downrange.

The National Halloween Candy Buyback Program is a national effort started by Dr. Chris Kammer. NCBB helps get the candy off the streets and out of our kids mouths. More importantly it puts that candy right into the hands of our troops!

“Move America Forward is a valued partner to the “Halloween Candy Buyback” by making sure our candy goes where it is needed most! They make it easy for anyone to easily participate in this great event.” said Dr. Chris Kammer, D.D.S, founder of the official Halloween Candy Buyback.

Furthermore, last year we began partnering with My Social Practice, a dental marketing company who runs the “Sweet Swap” Campaign. Each year they create a Halloween Candy Buyback Campaign called a Sweet  Swap”. and provide a set of digital assets to help a small business design, kick-off, and promote a Halloween candy buyback campaign. The campaign materials are free to download at this link.

If you need some help kicking off your candy buyback campaign this year, why not download the Sweet Swap Materials? Program material is free and will help make this year your best for a candy buyback event ever.

For more information check out our National Halloween Candy Buy Back page. You can also send your candy directly to the Move America Forward Operation Center at 3105 Fite Circle, Suite 108, Sacramento CA 95827.

Volunteer & 9/11 Survivor Richard Hannaford Joins MAF Board of Directors

With the recently announced retirement of Move America Forward founder and Chairwoman Melanie Morgan, we are pleased to announce Richard Hannaford has accepted an appointment to our Board of Directors. Richard, a long-time volunteer, MAF ambassador, and 9/11 Tower II survivor, brings his unique life experience and unwavering love and deep appreciation of our troops to our Board.

I had the opportunity to speak with Richard and knew you would enjoy learning more about him as he embarks on his newly appointed board position.

I asked Richard how his personal experience as a 9/11 survivor led to his decision to take such an active roll in volunteering for MAF. He said “Well that’s really easy. When I came out of that building, for me, as a civilian it was probably the closest I’ll ever be to experiencing what a soldier goes through in an armed conflict. There were sounds, there were sights that are just unseeable to this day.

Once I got out (of New York) and once our paths crossed, I realized what a great idea. If I could take somebody’s mind off that situation, even for the shortest amount of time. How great would that be? Hence that was my moment, it was life altering. I just think the cause is terrific I’ve met a lot of these guys that have gotten the packages and it’s really cool and it does make a difference. If one box can do that, just imagine what thousands can do. It’s a terrific program, just extraordinary.”

After experiencing the unexpected death of his first wife in 2011, Richard’s life took an unplanned turn which eventually led to meeting his current wife and relocating to California in the summer of 2013.

Richard met Scott, Shawn, and Danny, three of our Move America Forward key players, when they volunteered at a local 9/11 memorial event hosted every year by the Vinson family on September 11th. “That was the beginning, that’s where it all started.” Stated Richard. “When they told me about what they did, it really piqued my interest and I thought ‘This is a great place to put my time and efforts.”

Further, while discussing Richard’s view of MAF’s impact on morale Richard stated, “What we do lets our troops know they’re not forgotten. And that we are supportive of their efforts. We will do everything we can to make sure they are taken care of. More importantly to know they are not forgotten. We have troops all over the world and people don’t realize that. They don’t realize the importance of that. Indeed, my hope is to do our part to keep morale as strong as it can be.”

As a board member Richard hopes to stay the course while increasing the outreach and visibility of what we currently do. Richard hopes to continue and reinforce existing community relationships while exploring new avenues of outreach.

Richard summed up his vision by saying “My ultimate goal is to put smiles on soldiers faces who might be having a down day otherwise.”

Welcome to the board Richard and thank you for sharing your story. Not to mention your talents and your time in making MAF the best it can be.

We are Nuts for Nuts

Nuts have a lot going for them.  They are shelf stable, easy to carry and provide the nutrition, healthy fats, protein and carbs our hard-working troops need to keep them strong. We are happy to include a variety of nuts including delicious California grown Blue Diamond almonds in our current offering of care packages.

Nuts are one of the most requested items in our care package line-up. Troops are nuts for nuts! Recently Blue Diamond Almond growers joined us by not only donating nuts for our care packages but also coming in to volunteer.

Blue Diamond Almonds and nuts are one of the biggest names in the nut business. We’ve got a huge variety of different types of nuts, including almonds, cashews and pistachios. We even have a variety pf flavors from classic roasted to spicy jalapeno!

October Photo of the Month

“Simply receiving the package brings happiness and warmth that someone somewhere scared enough do put the package and items together and send it out. Even though our deployments are a little different than 15 years ago it’s still nice to not be forgotten.”

Christopher D. U.S. Army — deployed