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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Snowball Express

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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, education, and communal healing, by connecting these families to one another.

Target demographics: the children of America's fallen military heroes

Geographic areas served: communities accross america

Programs: During the year Snowball Express hosts families of our fallen military heroes at many community events across the nation, providing them an opportunity to stay connected throughout the year. Each December we host the largest gathering in the world of children and families of fallen military. During our annual program held in ft worth, Texas, we bring together nearly 1,800 children and surviving spouses of our fallen military heroes. We plan and design 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, we host 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.

Donor & Volunteer Advisory

This organization's nonprofit status may have been revoked or it may have merged with another organization or ceased operations.

Community Stories

150 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

bamatex

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Although I have not had any direct contact with Snowball Express the last few years the things they were doing for Military Families was world class. Since the Gary Sense Foundation took over Snowball Express I do not believe that same world class service to Military Families has changed. Hope to make it back to Snowball Express soon.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with Snowball Express for over 5 years now. What they continue to do day in and day out to ensure that the families of fallen service members are not forgotten is amazing. Being at many of their events you can see it on the families faces especially the kids that Snowball they appreciate what is being done for them at these events.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been volunteering for Snowball for the last four years. The gift to the kids and their family of military personnel who have a deceased parent is beyond description. The children enjoy every moment from the time we pick them up with our aircraft decorated for Christmas to the minute we deliver them back to their homes via one of our jets... giving the gift of a wonderful adventure to these children and their surviving parents and family members is a great thank you to the service the military does for our country... snowball express is a great gift for the children who someday will be running our country ... as a crew member we decorate the aircraft, we decorate ourselves, we play games we sing songs we feed the kids we make every minute of their flight something to remember always. Has been my great privilege and honor to volunteer at Snowball Express

Previous Stories
3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I'm a flight attendant for American Airlines and every year I volunteer for Snowball express to bring the families of our fallen soldiers to Dallas ...we decorate the airplane for Christmas we decorate ourselves we fly from base to base picking up the families feeding them ,laughing with them ,singing with them ,giving them gifts and bring them to Dallas for an amazing few days of fun and frolic... These children and family members of the soldiers that have served our country ...need and deserve a little cheer and happiness in their lives because their losses have been huge... It's a very rewarding amazing and humbling experience to be part of the Snowball express family ...

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Snowball Express is an amazing organization for the Children of Fallen Soldiers. I have been volunteering for this charity for 10 years. I got involved, because my nephews were snowball kids. They lost there dad in Sept 2008. They got to go to Disney Land and other fun places in California, just 3 months after losing their dad. It was a great healing process for them and for there mom. They were getting ready to enter the holiday season without their dad and husband, they had to learn a new normal, if you could call it normal. Allowing them to be around other kids and spouses going through the same thing they were has such a huge impact on their healing process. Knowing it was OK to breakdown when talking about their dad, and not getting looked at funny, being able to talk about their dad and what happened to him to others that had the same experiences, there is nothing else that compares to that, in the healing process. In 2009, Snowball Express came to Dallas, I knew I had to be apart of it, because it had such an impact on my family. So I signed up to be a volunteer, and I have been doing it every year since. I have made amazing connections with kids and family members, in the years that I have been volunteering. I have made life long friendships, and I have been able to help kids, and be there for them, not just during SBE, but all year long. A text, a call, just to chat, or cry, I am always there. I think the fact that I know first hand what SBE is all about and what it can do, because it has helped my family, makes it easier for me to help others and for them to be able to relate to me. Every year new families are added to the Snowball Express family, and I wish that was not the case. I wish we did not have to have this organization, but we do, and it is amazing. It helps these kids heal from the most devastating loss there is as a child. If you are ever looking for an organization to support, please look into Snowball Express, I guarantee the money is well spent in giving these kids the trip of a lifetime, to have fun, and meet kids just like them, suffering just like them, hurting just like them, and learning to heal just like them!

Writer

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I became involved with Snowball Express by way of my assignment in the Arizona National Guard. The AZNG had suffered several casualties during the War on Terror and these losses had a deep and profound impact throughout the force. In coordination with American Airlines, AZNG mustered about 50 volunteers to support the departure and arrival of Snowball Express families in Phoenix. This became an annual event and the volunteers, some of whom had known the fallen, unhesitatingly stood up. The growing sense of family was clearly evident and all participants looked forward to sharing their experiences as well as seeing the children grow and smile again. Personally, I donate to Snowball Express every year as I have seen for myself the joy and healing it brings to the ones left behind. Freedom is not free!

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Worked directly with Snowball Express for several when with Arizona National Guard. Got to know the operation through American Airlines and the families of the fallen. Such a noble and caring venture. The debt owed the families that suffered the ultimate sacrifice can never be repaid. The comments shared with me from the widows and children made it clear to me that Snowball Express is the real deal when it comes to giving hope and comfort to those who grieve.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It has been my great honor to serve these precious familes of our Fallen Warriors for the last 6 years. As an American Airlines flight attendant, volunteering to bring our Snowball Express families to their special weekend is a very small way to say thank you for the sacrifice they have made to our country. Snowball Express provides a platform for these families to share experiences that can only be understood by others just like themselves. Snowball Express deserves every opportunity to continue providing this gift to these families.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered for the first time last year. I had no idea what an impact the community has on Gold Star families. I was so honored to assist with a group like Snowball Express who really cared about each and every member of the family. Each staff member and volunteer exuded professionalism, integrity, but most of all...Love. It is an amazing organization to be a part of and support.

1 gigibabe007

Client Served

Rating: 5

Snowball Express has been a blessing for my son. This is the ONLY event he looks forward year after year. He has created everlasting friendships and memories that has helped him cope with the loss of our hero. As a parent this has been rewarding to see my son smile and have fun for those 5 days where he gets to be a normal happy kid. This will be his last year attending as a goldstar child because he is aging out, yet he has taken upon himself to continue to come back as a volunteer. This is how much of an impression snowball express has made on my son and myself. We are forever grateful for the experience and are looking forward to volunteering in the future. #payitforward

Previous Stories
2

Client Served

Rating: 5

We are one of many gold star families that attend each year. We lost our fallen hero in 2007 and have been graciously blessed to have attended snowball express. This event has touched our lives in more ways i can ever express, i have watched my son go from shy to very sociable because of snowball and the ability for him to interact with other families and children who are in the same position we are in. Theres no need to explain yourself and why ur here, as its already understood. My son and i look forward to this every year because its almost like a giant family reunion. The volunteers are amazing, always with a smile on their face and ready to play w the kids. I dont know where they get all that energy, nevertheless we are blessed and thankful to have them. And to Mr. Buck Kern and the members of the board, without ur strategic planing and fundraising this event wouldnt be possible. Thank u for everything u have done for us we are forever grateful and thankful to everyone involved. The smile on my sons face is priceless and i dont often get to see it... until snowball time and then it turns into a non stop contagious smiling and laughing for days! Thank you!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have served as a volunteer for Snowball Express for the last five years. It is an experience that has allowed me to give back in a small way to the families of those men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice for my freedom. To see the smiling faces of their kids and know that this time at Snowball Express is healing their spirits is a gift to me. I have watched friendships grow and families come together during their time at Snowball. It is an awesome program and it is run by exceptional, giving volunteers.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A wonderful organization committed to serving the children of our military men/women who have paid the ultimate price for our freedom since 9/11. I have worked for the past four years in the command center and have witnessed volunteers going above and beyond their assignments in order to make sure that these kids have a fun and healing experience. It is awesome to see how such a monumental undertaking unfolds each year and the growth that the organization has made.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Last year was my first year to volunteer with Snowball Express. I was so blessed to be a part of something that was so impactful for the families of our fallen soldiers. I plan to volunteer for many more years. I tell everyone I know about this organization and their events.

Blessed Beyond Measure

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was part of the working crew members for SBE 2016. We flew into LAX to decorate the plane the night before. In the morning, we flew families of fallen heroes from LAX to SMF to PHX, then finally DFW. It was the most exhausting day of my entire 33 year career at American Airlines, but the most memorable. I have signed up again this year to help make special moments for the heroes families. It is definitely a worthwhile event to be a part of.

1 Eric C.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The people that volunteer are so committed to the children they serve. It is awesome to be a part of the team to serve our veterans

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Snowball Express was and continues to be our rainbow after the storm. They know how to make our families feel loved and included. We have made some lifetime friends and unforgettable memories. They give some much and ask for NOTHING in return. We love SBE!

2 Debbie LoPresto B.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Snowball Express is an absolutely amazing organization that sends military widows/widowers and their children on an all expense paid 5 day trip where you are surrounded not only by a couple thousand people that have experienced similar loss and trials as you but also by volunteers who love on you, support you and honor your fallen soldier. It is a time of bonding and making new friendships that last a lifetime along with having fun and opportunities you might otherwise not be able to experience. The city of Dallas/Ft Worth opens their arms up to us. We have police escorts, fireman and civilian lining the streets and highways we travel and a Walk of Remembrance that will make anyone tear up as you see the love and support they give us. During the day we do all sorts of fun activities and at night they take the kids and let us have a much needed break. Another really neat event they do is taking the kids "shopping" in the Neiman Marcus store so they can get their surviving parent a Christmas gift. Before my son attended Snowball Express, I never got a present from him as his daddy was the one that would always take the kids out to buy presents for me. You laugh, you cry, you have fun and meet new people and strengthen the relationships with those you may only see once a year at this event. Thanks for the memories, Snowball Express!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am grateful and humbled for the opportunity to serve with and for Snowball Express. I know their mission, vision, and goals. As one who volunteers with Snowball Express I watch miracles take place everyday of Snowball Express.
I watch children who have walked through tragedy at a young age that most of us could not even imagine. I see these precious children of our honored fallen heroes encounter understanding and form meaningful relationships with peers who know and have known in real time the challenges they face and overcome. I see joy come into the faces of the children that as a civilian I would have thought would be impossible. I watch these children, parents, guardians, and grandparents gain increased strength, vision, new dreams, and restored purpose.

I come to Snowball Express to serve these families I have grown to love in whatever manner possible. When I made the decision to volunteer for Snowball Express I asked myself “Why do you want to serve?”. I continued to ponder this for a few days.
I thought of our Gold Star families’ fallen Hero. Then came my answer. These words wrote on my heart from the perspective of their Hero (their mom, dad or both):
“ You want to thank me, you want to honor me, then take care of my family”.

This is my “Why”.

Serving with Snowball Express is fun and fulfilling. But do not mistake it is not easy. We work and do whatever it takes to provide our Gold star families with happy memories.
The only way to serve optimally in this venue is to be willing to give it all you got and this is different for each person.
The leadership and staff of Snowball Express watch out and care for our Gold star families, volunteers, and staff so you do not have to be a rocket scientist or an olympian. Just be someone who comes with their heart and commitment. The staff and captains will provide you with the directions needed to serve. You do not need to be a veteran or belong to an organization although all are welcome.
I went online and read about Snowball Express’s mission, vision, goals, and results. I filled out the online form to volunteer. I am not part of a group just an individual civilian. Snowball Volunteer services reached out to me and that is how I started.
This year will be my fourth year to serve with Snowball Express. What I began to realize
over the years is how much Snowball Express has changed me. My heart has enlarged in ways I do not have the words to express.

Volunteering with Snowball Express is a treasured opportunity. The lives touched every year is priceless.

Respectfully,
Fostina W. Gurley

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I know kids of fallen soldiers that love the things this organization does for them. I am a huge fan of Snowball Express based on the information I get from them.

1 Jim D.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is the best help for the children of fallen, my wife have been working with pleasure in the sewing room putting patches on leather vest the P G R gives them, what a joy to be involved with this.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Last year was my first experience with Snowball Express. Working with the people in this organization and seeing how they help people is incredible. I will be volunteering my time this year and every year as long as I am able.

2 Darryl Egg S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What an unbelievable showing of support to our families of those that have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country! American Airlines employees, many of whom are USAF Veterans, take such great pride in supporting this charity!

1 Scott J.1

Donor

Rating: 5

It is an incredible organization!!! All you have to do....is see the look on the kids faces!!!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

This will be our 3rd and final Snowball. My son is graduating H.S. next year. I am so grateful to ALL Snowball Express Staff and volunteers. My Son and my Husband were each others, Best Buddies. He is an introverted, except when he is at Snowball with the friends he met 3 yrs ago. They keep in contact periodically via text We live in an area, with no military facilities or familes nearby. So, Being a part of the Snowball family has, given us the opportunity to meet life long friends. Who understand us full of joy and laughing and maybe 5 minutes later cryjng our eyes out.

Snowball is the number ONE Non-Profit in my family.

Donna Shannon
Spouse of SFC Michael P.D. Shannon
Kabul, Afghanistan 2010




1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Best and most satisfying event you could ever do in your life.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Can't say enough nice things about Snowball Express (SBE) and it's staff. They are a truly amazing group of dedicated and caring individuals who go above and beyond to serve the deserving children of our country's fallen military heroes. You just need to visit the SBE program in Dallas once to see the tireless effort, the unselfish dedication, and the culmination of a year's hard work that goes into serving these children and their surviving spouse, or Gold Star volunteer over the course of a five day event.
And then there are the countless number of other volunteers who come together over these 5 days to make certain that this event is bigger and better than it was the year before. Why, because these children deserve this and the volunteers are committed to making this an event that they can appreciate now and remember for years to come.
This will be my 10th year to volunteer. It's one of a select few charities that gets my support and money every year.
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. And since these military men and women made their sacrifice, volunteering to assist SBE and these surviving children is the least I can do. I was blessed and never got drafted for VietNam. This is my 'draft' and the the least I can do to support such a worthy cause.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

2nd year serving with Snowball Express on Military Appreciation day at the Texas State Fair. Its always a pleasure meeting new people and hearing stories from our vets. The people I serve with are amazing and always out to make sure we have everything we need. I look forward to helping make this December a success.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Everyone should see this most incredible heartfelt compassion that Snowball Express, American Airlines and sponsors put on for one the most deserving of causes. If for just brief fleeting moments, Snowball Express provides so many diversions for our military families from the wretched agony of loss that our greatest of heroes families suffer constantly when their loved ones are taken protecting the greatest nation.
It is a venue where life long bonds are forged where wives and mothers, fathers, sons and daughters can laugh together and can cry together. They can visit and visit and visit and relate and relate and relate, where the rest of the world simply cannot. It is such agony of despair and sorrow that each of them can share and gather some hope of inner peace and knowing that so many others have experienced such devastating fate. It gives everyone the strength to ' keep on, carrying on'.
It is just such an honor for all of the people involved with Snowball Express. The generosity of the sponsors, the corner stone and stellar support from American Airlines, that for myself and my winsome little pug where she provided such a multitude of smiles after smiles, comments and pictures from unmeasured attendees.
Everyone should see what a blessing, moving and so humbling of an experience that it is.

Timothy Wayne van Deest

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a Patriot Guard Rider, I was introduced to Snowball Express 10 years ago. When I saw what they were doing for the families of our men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice, I could not stop thinking about it. I have been involved every since, and when I see families and kids that I have seen before, and they remember me, it usually brings me to tears.
I no longer take my bike, and am now a full time volunteer. Seeing the healing and bonding among the families is the greatest enjoyment of my year, each and every year.

Donor

Rating: 5

My nephew, his wife and my cousin have been in the military for years. I've heard many great things about the Snowball Express. I support them as one of my go-to charities! Thanks to Gary Sinese too! Good luck!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with the Snowball Express for the last two years. I just love how organized they are and the sincere attention to details for every family. They extend themselves over and over again. The first time I volunteered I was in the children's section. Loved how they protected the surroundings of all and made it a fun time to volunteer. Last year, I was placed at the entrance to help the families with directions after getting off the bus. What a great time it was to be able to help in this area. This is one of the best places to volunteer and receive your reward before you leave the parking lot. The reward is the feeling of being a blessing to so many lives!!!!!!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

My niece lost both of her parents when she was Age 5, December 2016 was her first Christmas without her parents. Attending the Snowball Express at December was an awesome experience for her. She felt so much love from all of the volunteers and all of the people that were in attendance at the event. She came away saying that this was the best Christmas ever. Thank you so much for having an event like this to make the children feel so very special.

Amy K.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is the most wonderful creation..it allows the children of the fallen to know they are not alone ,that they can have friends that understand what they r going thru ....As well as remove some of that pay for a few days and enjoy laughter again

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is such a worth. While charity.these. children of fallen. Military have so much fun .I have volunteered.many years and it brings tears to my eyeswhen they deplane and they are so excited.

Katrina F.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’ve been a volunteer for Snowball Express for 10 years. I am also a charter coordinator on one of the flights for the families. These families have become my family. The families and volunteers giving so much love and support back to one another, and organization giving so much back to the families, plus the military support make this a great charity. Once you’re involved with Snowball Express, you’re changed for life and realize the sacrifices these families have given for our ultimate freedoms.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer with Snowball Express the last 8 years. Watching the smiles and joy of the families that have suffered so much if a great satisfaction.

1 Debbie R.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As an American Airlines flight attendant, volunteering to Crew for Snowball Express is by far one of the most rewarding events we participate in year after year. I will never fully be able to thank our SBE families for the ultimate sacrifice that their loved one made for our nation. Participating onboard an SBE charter flight, making memories with our families, getting to hear stories about their Fallen Warrior, bringing these families together for a brief time of sharing.... this is Snowball Express. They deserve every great thing we can give them.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization is so very special to the way they love ❤️ and honor the Families of our Fallen. They go out of their way to make the Families feel important. From the special walk of gratitude to Gary Sinese and the LT Dan Band playing for hours and loving on the children giving them their own Teddy Bears. To all of the sponsors like American Airlines who fly the Families in from all over the world. To the Patriot Guards and the local law enforcement making the drive around the city safe for all of the Families. To making sure the guardians are given time away from their children and getting pampered with massages and facial treatments. To all of the volunteers who make it work each and every minute of each day for the Families. I couldn’t begin to say how much this is one of the best organizations out there for the Families of the Fallen. They are a blessing to all who are involved with Snowball Express. ♥️

1 MishaM

Client Served

Rating: 5

2016 was our first year attending, and everyone made us feel so loved and welcomed!!! The staff was AMAZING!!!!! All the volunteers who help with SBE will be blessed beyond their wildest dreams bc they sure made it a HUGE deal to appreciate our children and our loved one in a wonderful way.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

having been part of Snowball Express found it to be a very rewarding and special experience if anyone can be come a part of highly recommended. cj

Bailey Alyse A.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I brought a team of teens to volunteer at the Snowball Express Program in December 2016. These kids were deeply moved to see the photos of fallen heroes clutched by their kids and the smiles of expectation for the new arrivals. It was one of the most fantastic projects that we volunteered at all year! I was so impressed with their care for the families of our fallen heroes. They had thought of everything. We must invest in the kids of our fallen service members, and Snowball Express does an amazing job building a massive volunteer force and designing a fantastic program to make the holidays brighter for these hurting kids!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Snowball Express has been a wonderful experience for my family during a period of our lives that has been devastating. Snowball allows children who have lost a military parent to spend a few fun-filled days with other children who have suffered the same loss surrounded by hundreds of people who love and support them. There is no cost to the families who attend Snowball Express. The first time my children attended Snowball was the first time I saw my children show a shimmer of true happiness through their sadness. Additionally, Snowball Express put my family in touch with resources that provided assistance throughout the year. Thank you Snowball for putting a smile on my children's faces and showing them that their sacrifice will never be forgotten.

Advisor

Rating: 5

I have hosted a number of events with Snowball Express and found them to very professional and all about the purpose. From planning meetings to gathering volunteers, they are well connected and always hit their mark when establishing goals. No one says no when asked to volunteer for Snowball Express!

The purpose of caring and providing for families of lost soldiers is a noble cause and I am proud to be a part of it!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My two grandchildren lost their mother 3 years ago from a road side bomb. They have both enjoyed being picked up by chartered American Airlines plane and flown to Dallas to take part in Snowball Express. The biggest benefit has been having them partake in Snowball activities with all the other children who have the same or similar experiences.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

There are so many families that have abruptly had their lives changed forever. Being a part of honoring and catering to these families has enriched my life. It is truly one of the best ways to thank these families for the sacrifice their loved one made for our freedom. Doesn't matter what capacity you are able to be a contributor. Whether you are a sponsor, a professional or a volunteer....BE A PART OF SNOWBALL EXPRESS!!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered last December for the Snowball Express Christmas event and was totally amazed at the job they do. I met a young girl who had been touched by the benefits Snowball Express provides. This was one of many trips she had been on with Snowball Express. Her attitude and appreciation for what was being done for her and the other children made me a volunteer for life!!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've worked with Snowball Express for the past 6 years as a volunteer and I can say unequivocally that they serve the families of our fallen military in a meaningful and often times life changing way. We are proud of our affiliation with Snowball Express and encourage others to volunteer, donate and participate in any way possible.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I became involved in SE last year, I volunteered as an RN for Medical. This is the most amazing organization for families of our Gold Star Families. The support and love is amazing, and so appreciated by the families. I feel that volunteering my time is the very least I can do.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with Snowball Express for several years. For me, it is extremely gratifying and inspiring. The work SE does helping families of fallen heroes/soldiers is incredibly worthwhile and uplifting. I see the results very concretely when the families spend time in Dallas each December. Many arrive somber and isolated. By the end of their experience here, the light is back in their eyes, and they have made friends for life. The children are the most wonderful, and helping to brighten their December holiday experience is priceless. Many thanks to Snowball Express for giving me the opportunity to make a difference.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a Ride Captain with the North Texas Patriot Guard Riders, it has been my privilege for the past four years to help provide motorcycle escort as the buses travel to various locations and to interact with Gold Star Families. It always warms my heart to see the smiles on the faces of the kids and their moms as they come together for this annual event. Nothing can replace the loss of their loved one, but clearly the opportunity to bond with others who can relate to the pain they feel and to know that hundreds of donors and volunteers make this time together possible, means a great deal.
Bill Kushnir

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Snowball Express has been an amazing gift for my boys and I. We have made so many memories and friends!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Snowball Express is the most honorable and respectful organization I have ever been involved in. Hailey has attended 3 years and she anxiously awaits it each time she is able to come. The people who are involved with Snowball are so generous with their time, so supportive of Hailey's needs, and allow Hailey to gather with other children and families who are suffering the loss of a loved one. I am raising my grand daughter and am unable at times to provide activities that Hailey needs and this event allows me to provide them for Hailey in a positive and eventful way plus another way to pay tribute to her father. The compassion that is displayed year round by this organization is nothing short of amazement. There are not enough words in the dictionary to express my gratitude for Snowball express. A 5 star rating is not high enough rating I give it a 10 star rating out of 5.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization has touched my heart as well as many others. The children of our fallen military have not only lost a parent but their own feelings of who they are. It is hard for their peers to relate to them when they are unaware of the wars America has been involved in. Their peers, unknowingly, ask where their lost parent is. When they reply they were killed in the war, their peer will reply, "What war?", making them wonder why they have lost a parent to a cause that others don't know about.

Snowball Express allows these children to be with others who know and understand their loss. They get to let their sorrows out to others who DO understand. These few days they are surrounded by people who appreciate the losses these children, spouses and America has lost. They see the outpouring of love and support that they look forward to each year. A simple time to just enjoy childhood and be a kid. They get to feel special as every child should.

America is who we are because of its people and these little people are our future. Snowball Express knows this and so do these VIP's.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This will be my 5th Snowball Express to volunteer for. I consider the families part of my family. I am usually a quite person but when it comes to meet and greet the flights coming in I become a different person.( quite loud announcing our families as they get off the planes all the way back to where they line up for buses) I have added Carry the Load this year with Snowball Express and will again volunteer for the 5 and 10 K coming up in Fort Worth. Last year I added the fair.

1 Nicole B.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Snowball Express is an amazing Charity for the children of Fallen Soldiers. These kids are effected by this huge life changing event, and it is hard on them, their friends don't understand, if they are sad, there friends cant relate. But when you get the snowball families together and they meet kids that are just like them, that can relate, that do understand, it is such a huge step in the healing process for them. They can break down and cry and not get looked at weird, they can talk about all the amazing memories they have with their hero, putting these kids together is priceless. Not only am I a Volunteer, but my 2 nephews are part of the Snowball family. They lost their dad 9 yrs ago, when they were 7 and 8 years old. Snowball has helped them tremendously as well as my sister in law who lost the love of her life. Not only is it great for the kids, it is great for the surviving spouse who can meet other spouses that have suffered the same loss. I am so honored to be a part of this amazing organization.

1 Debbie W.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My granddaughter is a Snowball kid. She lost her dad in 2005 in Iraq. Since her dads death, her life hasn't always been easy but Snowball has always been there for her. She has made friends over the years who share her experience. The volunteers are awesome and they truly love these kids and the kids know they will never be forgotten. These kids truly are Americas Kids beause they have given so much to our country. Snowball allows the a few days at a time of the year where they are missing their mom or dad, to come together and just have fun. They are with other kids who know exactly what they have gone through. They can talk about their parents and be proud of who they were. The spouses have an opportunity to talk to each other and much needed resource people are on hand to help navigate they ins and outs of benefits. Throughout the year the organization will help to organize Snowflake events on a local level to allow the kids to interact throughout the year. I have been blessed to share this with her a few times and I too have made some lifelong friends. This organization provides so much for our kids and never loses focus of what these kids have been through and how to best help them grow into happy adults. God Bless Snowball and its volunteers.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have participated as a volunteer for Snowball Express for 3 years. Nowhere will you find a better organized, more impactful support group for our families of fallen military heroes. It is easy to participate in whatever capacity suits you. The most compelling component for me is the appreciation and excitement expressed by the kids and mothers who are served by this annual event. I will be a part of it as long as I'm physically able.

1 Regina T.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The bonding experience and accommodation that are provided for my three children is truly unexplainable. The kids look forward to seeing everyone each year to laugh and cry!!! They have memories to share and new friendship to last their lifetime. As a parent I get to have the same experience with other parents by sharing stories and lessons to help us through these difficult times. The activities are so nice for the everyone and the volunteer are so awesome.

1 Terry88

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Snowball Express became part of our family after my son, Bryan, was killed in Afghanistan. Bryan's children attended their first Snowball Express and immediately made new friends that would not turn away when they mentioned their daddy. My wife and I volunteer each year at Snowball Express and while it's heartbreaking to see that many children without a mom or dad, it's also heart-warming to see how many volunteers and companies are supporting these families. And once you experience the "Walk of Gratitude" your perception of this organization is forever changed. Snowball Express will never forget our sacrifice, and to us that is golden.

1 Margarita Orton D.

Client Served

Rating: 5

As the survival spouse is very emotional, but rewarding to be able to have a few days off and get together with other ladies that are in a way in the same situation. For my kids emotional for the older kids and fun and for the little one an experience of exiting fun time off that he is ready to have every December. Im very thankful for the thoughtful people who put this idea in action, I just wished were for a different reasons.
Im sad, but proud that my husband was in the Army. I understand that everyone have specific job and a duty even if that means death.
Raising kids is not an easy job for one person.
Thank you Snowball for what you try to do by giving us the time to honor our love ones plus some fun.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

So my wife's company helps facilitate Snowball in Dallas every year and for the last 4 years I have had the honor to volunteer on Setup and/or Arrival day. My 'First Year Story' isn't a happy one but one that taught me a lesson. This young woman and her maybe 4 year old daughter, choking back tears, came up to me and asked a few questions about things I unfortunately knew nothing about. I helped as much as I could but I knew I wasn't much help. I have been haunted by my inability to help her the way she needed, since that day. Right then and there, however, I made myself promise to NEVER let that happen again. This event every year allows me to come back and be 100 times better than I was that very first day. It is an honor to help these folks in their time of need and to give back as much as possible. I kid you not, the day after snowball ends I am SO very impatiently waiting for the next year's event. Snowball is such an amazing event in everything they do and I hope to NEVER miss an event. It will forever be on my calendar!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Such a wonderful organization! All the money raised goes straight to the programs Snowball supports; namely, giving the children of veterans who lost their lives in service to this country a chance to be with other kids in the same situation. The entire company pitches in, from the minute the family gets to the airport at their home location, to the all-volunteer flight crews, to the organizers and facilitators in Dallas.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Such an incredible organization! They love the families of your fallen heroes and show them the deepest love and respect!

Jenn H.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My kids have gone to SBE for the last four years. It's an experience like no other. They get to meet other children in their shoes all while doing awesome activities that they sometimes otherwise would've never experienced.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Snowball Express is amazing! They give my son such an amazing time every year! We love how they honor the fallen men and women, we love sharing our story about my son's father, my husband. During a time that isn't always happy, they make sure we are smiling for that whole week. We love Snowball Express, and are honored to be invited to partake in such a wonderful organization!

Board Member

Rating: 5

Snowball Express is the BEST!!. It is one of the few nonprofits I have seen that actually makes a difference in kids' lives. Here are two quotes from the kid's moms that pretty much sums it up:
"The healing that my children get just by being with each other is better than professional therapy"
"It is the only time during the year that I get to see my children laugh and be happy for 5 days in a row"

Catina Hutchinson P.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Snowball Express is an amazing organization that works with children who have lost a family member during acts of war. To see their hopeless, sad eyes on day one, become rays of joy and hope joined with smiles on their faces by the end of the trip is truly a memorable experience. They know they are not alone, they are amongst other children that have had the same loss of a parent and that gives them strength. They learn to network and make long-lasting friends. Snowball Express lets these children know that people truly care about them and their loss and that is beyond anything the children could ask for. Thank you, Snowball Express for bringing light back into these children's worlds.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer along with my husband. I am in charge of the massage room.
I have listened to so many stories and cried. I have watched families hold each other up ,year after year! But in the midst of all the excitement we always remember why we are here... because every single one of our Gold Member Family has given the ultimate sacrifice... a life.
Our son died from a heart attack five years ago...2 weeks later I was about to do my second year of volunteering ... I didn't want to leave my sons graveside to volunteer but I did... because I had already committed. Even though I didn't want to go..I did.
Those snowball families... they comforted me!!!!!! THEY knew my pain and their words of comfort were real. Real because they knew exactly what I was going through... THEY HAD ALL LOST SOMEONE!!!
I will never forget the love and comfort I received from these women!
So every year I have a reunion not just volunteer... I look forward to seeing my Snowball families !!!
I see the importance of sharing your love as well as your grief!
I love being a volunteer at snowball express!
This is just my story... my husband, Danny has many of his own. He is the one who got me involved.
God Bless America and our military!