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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Human Services, Military & Veterans Organizations, Veterans

Mission: Honor America’s fallen military service members who have made the ultimate sacrifice since 9/11 by humbly serving the families they left behind. Champion their children’s future success by creating opportunities for joy, friendship, and communal healing, by connecting these families to one another.

Programs: In 2014 snowball express hosted families of our fallen military heroes at many community events across the nation, providing them an opportunity to stay connected throughout the year. During our main event held in ft worth, texas in december, we brought together over 1,800 children and surviving spouses of our fallen military heroes. We planned and designed events that enabled these children to meet other children just like them, make new friends, and we provided an opportunity for communal healing by connecting these families together. Over the 5 days in texas, each day, we hosted events throughout the community that connected the children and widows/widowers, and we also provided the public an opportunity to show their gratitude to these families for the tremendous sacrifices they have made for our freedom. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- highlights of our events: a welcome event to honor the families in ft worth, tx with a public walk of gratitude, a day at the movies and perot museum of nature and science, an evening at the fort worth joint reserve base, with a special performance to honor the families by gary sinise and the lt. Dan band, and a special show performed by shows in a box. We also provided educational and inspirational opportunities. In addition to the bonding that occurs during the events, we designed special rooms and family lounges that enabled both children and adults to relax each evening, connect, share with one another, and bond in a wonderful atmosphere. We also provide a family resource room at the hotel where we invite support organizations to meet with the families. The family resource room was designed to provide special support services to the families,and an opportunity to connect with these services. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------vet center counseling services: on-site at the hotel and mobile van at every off-site event (the mobile van traveled to each event and was available for counseling services if needed any time of the day) veterans administration: burial expenses, markers, headstones, death pensions, educational assistance (va, special needs, gi bill, etc), champva (health care), life insurance and any other va programs or applications for programs. Survivor outreach services: non-government volunteer group that helps with all of the above, plus financial investment counseling from experts gold star spouses: the primary mission of gsw is to provide service, support and friendship to the widows and widowers of military personnel who died on active duty or as the result of a service connected cause. Id cards and dependent enrollment: the vital item required to enter all of the above service related benefit programs. Probably our busiest unit, they were able to assist families with enrollment families and produced nearly 100 id cards. We also have members of the tragedy assistance program for survivors (t. A. P. S. ) present at every event. Taps certified grief counselors provide comfort and care through comprehensive services and programs including peer based emotional support, case work assistance, connections to community-based care, and grief and trauma resources.

Community Stories

62 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My father was KIA in Vietnam 5 months before I was born . As I grew up always felt isolation,and a mix of emotions, most people don't understand. Sure wish I could have had this when I NEEDED. Got my first road bike almost two years ago , immediately joined Patriot guard , then Legion Riders . Patriot Gaurd has really helped me a lot . seeing the love among these Gold Star families has helped me find a inner peace . Love serving Patriot Gaurd especially the feel good missions . God bless all involved NEVER FORGOTTEN

Client Served

Rating: 5

Snowball Express has given us so much hope. This will be the third time I have attended, twice with my son Jose that he cant attend his last year because he is in College and this year for the first time for my little princess Adriana. She is by far so excited! She has never been by hearing our stories and me telling her she will meet other children just like her she is by far so ready!!! Thank you Snowball Express for everything you do for us!!!! We love you!!!!!!❤️❤️

Amber93

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Being a part of this organization and seeing the work and dedication of thousands of volunteers coming together, to support and empower children of our fallen military has changed my life. To know such passionate and loving individuals and watch them pour their knowledge, time and expertise into this event each year is astounding. This organization is truly dedicated to our nations fallen military families and holds itself to the highest level of integrity. It's an organization you can trust to put the families and the mission first. I am honored to be a part of it.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Snowball Express is a wonderful organization that brings together the children, spouses and families of our fallen Military Heroes from all over the country for an annual, all-expense paid five day celebration. Last year, I had the honor and privilege of traveling to Dallas, Texas for this special event along with my employer, Green Beans Coffee, and volunteering in the adult lounge. I met so many amazing Moms who have lost their husbands and whose children have lost their fathers. Their strength was truly inspirational and my experience there was unforgettable.

For Mother’s Day, Green Beans Coffee and Snowball Express teamed up to honor these remarkable women by creating special Mother’s Day gift sets made up of coffee, a mug and chocolates. These gift sets were purchased anonymously by people who wanted to express their appreciation for their family’s sacrifice and wish these special Moms a Happy Mother’s Day. Gift sets were sent to Snowball Express Moms in all 50 states.

Here’s a letter from a Snowball Mom who received one of these gift sets:

What a surprise when my daughter went outside on our porch and brought this little brown box into our home. We both looked at it with quizzical looks on our face and double checked the name on the box to make sure it was for us. We eagerly opened the box and in there was such a warm surprise. My daughter took the note out and read it and said “Mom, somebody was thinking about us and they don’t even know us”… Yes, this brought a tear to my eye. Thank you for remembering, thank you for caring, thank you for bringing a warm hug and smile to our family with such a sweet gesture.
Sincerely,
Jennifer and Alyssa Germosen
Family of SSGT Scott Germosen USMC
“Operation Enduring Freedom”

Snowball Express provides such amazing support to these Moms and their children who have given so much to our nation by bringing them together for healing and bonding and letting them know that they are not forgotten and are not alone. I’m looking forward to attending the event again this year!

Roy W.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Snowball Express since its inception in 2006 has had one mission, "provide hope and memories for the children of military fallen heroes". I can say unequivocally that since that first event in Orange County, CA to SBE VII Dec 2013 in Dallas, Texas, Snowball Express has not strayed from that mission.

I was the former President/Chairman of Snowball Express 2007-2009 so I know first hand the challenges any new non-profit must deal with...but regardless of those challenges, wonderful supporters in CA for three years poured their hearts out to these families and showed them that American had never forgotten. Donors found their contributions of hard cash were matched by donated goods and services worth nearly 10 times that amount!!! Truly amazing and all for the good of these children and surviving spouses.

With tears in their eyes, the CA volunteers passed the event to a group of dedicated volunteers who in traditional Texas style worked their tails off to make Snowball Express even better for the families. Since 2007 American Airlines and its employees have worked tirelessly year round to spread the word and bring more corporate support and awareness to America along with the help of hundreds of other corporations...large and small...to make the last four years in Dallas truly memorable for these families. With the addition of Gary Sinise on the Board of Directors, it is hard to imagine a stronger endorsement from a person with Gary's love of our military and country.

Some say the sign of a great non-profit is how it handles change in leadership and can it remain focus on its mission. The leaders who replaced me along with the current leadership, Buck Kern as Executive Director, and the very active and engaged Board of Director insures that donor's contributions are spent for their intended purpose....making sure these children get the happy memories they deserve when they attend the annual event and do it in a cost effective manner along with offering ever expanded "Snowflake" events around the country year round.

The testimonies from these families on the website just scratch the surface of what Snowball Express represents to these families. If you are considering donating to a military non-profit, you will be hard pressed to find one that does more good for a group that deserves this and much more for the loss of a parent while defending all of our freedoms. It has been a life-changing event to be around these families and the Snowball Express family of volunteers. Please consider getting involved if you are not already.

Rachel75

Client Served

Rating: 5

What can I say besides that this is the most wonderful beyond words heartfelt filled with nothing but love and compassion place. Every year when I see all those SnowBall express volunteers I end up crying cause from the second we land to the second we leave its nothing but understanding and love. Snowball has forever changed my life every year that I go and for that Im trully thankful. No words can describe ALL the people who help and volunteer and just make it wonderful who say they can never repay us for what we have lost, this is the best way and just to know that You guys trully care and show it to us every year it... I cant even put into words. SnowBall Express goes above and beyond everything and for them Im trully thankful and grateful. I never want to leave for it seems that no matter what we will always have a shoulder to cry on when we're there from the friends Ive met to the Volunteers who will let soak there shirts with our tears to letting Us teenagers be as sill and crazy as we want to be in the teen room. There arent enough words for SnowBall But I hope Thank you is a starting point.

Jessica103

Client Served

Rating: 5

There really aren't even words to express what Snowball Express means to my kids and I. We have attended every year and it just gets better. They have friends that are "just like them". Last year on the plane there my daughter said "I know we don't know everyone but it feels like we're one big family." It makes me tear up just writing that. For them to know that their sacrifice doesn't go unnoticed means so much to them. The friendships that these kids are making in the midst of it all are amazing. We are so blessed to be a part of Snowball.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Snowball Express has been an amazing organization for my son and I. We have been attending since the first year (2006). The love, support and "family" that Snowball gives us, means the world to us. Most people can never understand how truly special we feel and how much Snowball helps us. I get tears in my eyes just thinking about how awesome our experiences have been. Looking forward to many more years to come! Thank you Snowball Express!

Sonia3

Client Served

Rating: 5

This organization is amazing! the love shown to the children and family members cannot be compared to anything I've ever been to. I've been attending this event since 2007 with my son. When he decides he no longer wants to attend, I will attend by myself as a volunteer. Thank you Snowball Express!

vlm_2001

Client Served

Rating: 5

Last year was our family's first year for Snowball Express and it was definetly a memorable experience that my children and myself will never forget. The volunteers were especially helpful, we had a blast!