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Review for Marine Corps Family Foundation Inc, Salem, OR, USA

Rating: 4 stars  

Each year in the fall, a new Division of Marines are deployed out of Camp Pendleton, California. These are young men as young as 19 years old, strong, determined, dedicated volunteers with a purpose. They are the epitome of those same young men that joined the Marine Corps after the attack on Pearl Harbor and although they have heard stories of how Vietnam era veterans were treated upon their return, that did not stop them from going to Iraq or Afghanistan. Over and over you hear their reason for going, "for my country, to fight there so they don't come here and hurt my family." This is why we volunteer for Operation Santa. To provide these Marines a reminder that we haven't forgotten them, and to send them a little bit of Christmas from home. We provide a few creature comforts, like Hand and Toe Warmers for those frigid nights while on patrol, where they have to keep their hands on their weapons in case of an attack. Batteries for their electronics what little they have, there is no PX at the Forward Operating Base, in the remote mountains of Afghanistan to buy new ones when theirs run out. Toothpaste, deodorant, baby wipes is what they use to wash up while in the field and again they have to hope they have enough to last until they go to the rear. In addition to this we send Pillowcases, they don't have pillows, but they use them to store their dirty clothes and use them as a pillow. Lip balm for chapped lips from the cold winds that whip down from the mountains, and Emergen-C vitamin supplement powder they can add to their bottled water to help maintain their immune system that is taxed from sleep deprivation and the sheer exercise of carrying their weapons, ammunition, and protective gear sometimes over 100 pounds while climbing steep hill and mountainsides. Packets of Hot Chocolate or coffee, and a granola bar for them to consume during their few and far between down time. So what is a little fundraising and time spent packing a gallon storage bag filled with a home-made Christmas stocking, a hand made Christmas card from the local elementary school or Girl Scout troop, wishing the Marines, a safe and Merry Christmas, with the above mentioned items compared to what these men and women are doing for us. This is why we volunteer, to give each and every Marine and Sailor a little bit of home. Connie Riecke, the director of the Marine Corps Family foundation, tirelessly works to help each and every one of us Coordinators ensure these Marines get Christmas stockings. She advises with fundraising ideas and acts as a troubleshooter if there is a problem with the vendor. We have been active with the Marine Corps Family Foundation, Operation Santa program since 2007 when our two sons were deployed to Iraq at the same time. They both have since gotten out of the Marine Corps, but we are committed to supporting those that have taken their place in the theater, and we hope to continue to do so for many years to come.

Would you volunteer for this group again?


For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?


When was your last experience with this nonprofit?


Role:  Volunteer