For the eighth year The Preserve (Units 42, 43 and 45) continued to thank and celebrate local military families by giving personalized gifts to children and families gift cards. Each year, Social Chair Bonnie Barazani coordinates with local military commanders from various service branches to identify the families and children who can most benefit from our support. Checks and requests for children’s names and their wish lists and clothing sizes began pouring in within minutes of Bonnie Barazani’s November 9 email, and like the magic of the holidays, the wish list of each child was soon filled, with enough money left to also purchase a $75 Walmart gift card for each of 39 families. As the Preserve grows each year, so does the number of military children that we adopt and this year we put brighter smiles on 145 young faces. Special thanks to Dave and Judy Rogoway for providing their garage to store the bags of gifts until delivery, Treasurer Deborah Adinolfi for collecting and managing the money and a whole lot of eager shopper elves.
The children of military families see a harder side of life than most. The family income is often at poverty level and their parents are away, often come home with disabilities or don’t come home at all. As messengers of love, we hope to show them a softer side of life by showing them that they matter, are loved and are not forgotten. We cannot bring parents home or match the pure joy seen on the faces of children who are surprised by their parent’s return, but we hope we can help comfort the ache in a tender, young heart that longs for an absent parent by showing that others care. Children are the stars of the future and, in our small way, we hope to help them shine and sparkle by giving them the confidence to dream, rise up to be their best self and to become the person they want to be.
It is with deepest gratitude, indebtedness and privilege that we humbly offer our gifts to military families in recognition of the magnitude of their gifts to us; continued freedom, safety and a future. We thank military families, past, present and future, for asking what they can do for their country. We thank them for believing in and loving our country so that our families and our children will continue to reap the benefits of their gifts. Let us never forget what it took to get our freedom and what it takes to preserve it for the future of all children. And let us never forget that the season of military service and sacrifice is 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and sometimes a lifetime or even a life. Let each of us make our season of paying tribute and giving back the same and let it also continue for each military person who has completed service and returned home