Category Archives: 2010

December 2, 2010 – Mercy Hall: “Holiday Cheer at Mercy Hall”

HC 2010 logo“Elfs”, Cookies, Stockings, Cards, and a Holiday Meal!

Here’s our AAR for Holiday Cheer 2010. Thank you to everyone who made it a wonderful success!  You are SO appreciated!!!

“The Elfs”

Some “Elfs” sent gift cards, some sent stocking stuffers and ornaments, and others sent checks to help with the Santa shopping.  They also helped by getting the word out about “Holiday Cheer at Bethesda” by posting on Facebook or on their websites and blogs.

Saying “Thank you” for your unconditional support of our wounded, injured, and ill service members seems inadequate to me. I have difficulty finding words strong enough to express the appreciation and gratitude that comes from the troops and their families when we gave them the stockings, cookies, cards, and food that they weren’t expecting.

So many people have given their time, money, and hearts to help with our event and each one of you have touched many people in extraordinarily wonderful ways that we will never know.

Thank you. We appreciate you.

Cookies:

Thank you to the “Cookie Elfs” – Kate, Barb, Don, Robin, Janelle, Aunt Jeanne and Mr. Russell, Alice, Catherine, Chris and her ladies from Bayside Quilters – Barb C. Kris S., and Marlene, and Grace. Thanks also to Delmarva Blue Star Mothers for helping to fund the cookie tins.

cookie elfs 2010

Jeanne, Janelle, Barb, Don. and Katie gathered together to sort the cookies into cheery tins. Each tin held a dozen assorted cookies.

Just a few of the delicious cookies the Cookie “Elfs” made.

cookies

Nope, they’re not mini-burgers. The cuties below were made by Alice and are vanilla wafers with a Peppermint Pattie between them to look like a hamburger, using red and yellow icing to hold them together to look like ketchup and mustard with sesame seeds on top.

We filled 77 cookie containers with at least a dozen cookies in each, and have cookies in the freezer for another luncheon. Grace brought at least 8 more containers with her the day of the luncheon.

Stockings:

the stockings made by Bayside QuiltersStockings were stitched by Bayside Quilters and filled with the help of “Elfs” from all over the country. Thank you Bayside Quilters for your support and dedication to our troops not only for “Holiday Cheer’, but all year long. You have brought so many smiles and so much comfort to the combat troops and their families throughout the year.

They were stuffed with things like this and more,

the stocking stuffers

 

 

 

 

 

including hand-knitted hats by Jessi’s friends Cheryl, Tesia, Michelle, Abi, and “Covers & Soles”. Thank you!

handknitted beanies

 

 

 

 

MassageThank you, Elf Jess, for heading this up! A HUGE project! And thank you for doing massages after you unpacked the stockings.

 

 

Thanks also to “Elfs” Jason, Neale, and Erin who helped to wrap and stuff the 65 stockings.

stockings stuffedThe stockings were divided between which ones were best for Mercy Hall and best for 5 East; some for the guys and gals we see every Mercy Hall luncheon (we know what they like); some had more “things” while others had more gift cards.

 

 

Cards:

Cards were sent by people all across the United States from Alaska to Florida, Maine to California, Minnesota to Texas and points in between.  Some just had a signature; some had every spare space filled with words.

2010 Holiday Cheer cards

 

 

 

 

 

We made up 60 bundles with 30 to 40 cards in each packet. Thank you “Card Elfs”!

Thank you, Janelle and Katie, for helping to screen them.

The Luncheon:

Thank you to Susie, Grace, Katie, and Jess for the good food!

Menu:  Roast beef, ham, scalloped potatoes, mashed potatoes, salad, rolls, appetizers, pumpkin pie, apple pie, cookies, and smoothies. I probably forgot something.

holiday cheer buffet

 

 

 

 

 

cookies and pie

 

 

 

 

 

Susie, Grace and HopeHope is interning for her future Naval MOS and is required to do volunteer work as part of the requirements.  She helped Susie and Grace serve the luncheon.

 

More “Elfie” Stuff:

blanketsBayside Quilters sent quilts as did some groups that are in contact with one of our volunteers.

Melissa from Ohio sent some warm, snuggly, beautiful fleece blankets with cards from the families that made them.

When we finished and packed up at Mercy Hall, Katie and I, with Hope’s help,  went over to the hospital ward to distribute stockings, cookies, and the card bundles.  When we returned to load up the car, the Mercy Hall staff was decorating with what we had left there.

Holiday Cheer Christmas Tree at Mercy HallThis came from Amerina after the event:

“Hey Jane just wanted to thank you and let you know that the boys here at mercy hall enjoyed the stockings and yesterdays treats! I gave the rest of the stockings out at formation and hung the rest of the little stockings but by morning they were all gone. Such a success! Once again me and Pascal front desk staff would like to thank you for including us with your functions here @ mercy Hall Bethesda! I will send pictures of the tree as soon as we get it up. Thank you for funding the decorations.”

Christmas tree in the entryway at Mercy Hall.They ended up decorating two trees, one in the common room and one in the entryway.

 

 

 

 

Our Choptank Marine Corps League friends were with us.  They helped sponsor “Holiday Cheer”.

Marines at Mercy Hall for Holiday Cheer

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jim (“Old Corps”, 1946 – 1948) sent this out to his friends:

“A luncheon was served at Mercy Hall and gifts, blankets, quilts, canisters of cookies, stockings stuffed with goodies and packets of cards with greetings and thank you for your service were given out to the Marines recovering from wounds received in protecting our country.  The meal was roast beef, and ham with all the trimmings.

Later stockings, cards and cookies were taken to the wards where the non-ambulatory were recovering.

Most moving was when a entire family of brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, mother and father, grandfather and grandmother [just guessing at the relationship] came through the line and took their meal over to the ward to be with their son.  They received gifts as well for him.

Visiting the hospital and seeing the sacrifices of these young servicemen and servicewomen is very humbling.”

We also thank and are grateful for our “Defenders of Freedom” for their dedication and commitment to our country.

Choptank MCL with Marines at Mercy Hall

 

 

 

 

 

“A Different Christmas Poem” (Revised)

Wishing all of you a peaceful holiday season and ALL the Best in 2011.

Until next time, continued prayers for our military and their families.

Love and Hugs,

Jane

November 14, 2010 – 5 East: Marine Moms Have a Saying…

Janet and Shirley“My Son by another Mother.”

Some of us Marine Moms and Dads have known each other since boot camp, others since our sons’ first deployment.  Maybe our kids grew up together in the same neighborhood and joined the Marine Corps together. Still others we have met along the way through one support group or another, whether it is from the MarineParents.com site, a Yahoo group, or from homecomings, local events, a Blue Star Mothers chapter, or, yes,  even chasing down a car in town with a USMC sticker on it!  We are everywhere. It’s just the hooking up with each other that may difficult sometimes.

One thing we have in common is we claim every Marine we meet as our own, and we do our best to “fill in” for the parents who can’t be there for their son or daughter.

My hope is that every military family is connected to another military family. It really does help with the roller coaster ride.

The friendships you make will last a lifetime.
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Sunday’s luncheon had a very special feeling surrounding it.  Continue reading November 14, 2010 – 5 East: Marine Moms Have a Saying…

October 28, 2010 – Mercy Hall: “Retreat Hell! We just got here!”

“Retreat Hell! We’ve just got here!”

Well… not really… it was October 2005 when Janelle and I first visited Bethesda.  I often wonder how Shawn is doing.  Now I know, found his “Alive Day” video on You Tube.  God is Good.

Another Marine we met on one of our first visits just received his final paperwork and is officially medically retired.  It took 5 years.

Then there is the Marine from Massachusetts, the only survivor out of his group of nine.

The Corpsman who was awarded a Bronze Star.

There was a Lieutenant who was in a wheelchair being pushed by his Dad and was so polite to Janelle and me, asking us about our sons.

The Marine in his Santa hat with the little Purple Heart pin on it; the hat was covering the surgical scars  from the head injury from an IED blast.  Continue reading October 28, 2010 – Mercy Hall: “Retreat Hell! We just got here!”

September 26 – 5th Floor: Welcome OEF/OIF Patients and Families!

 

Welcome OEF and OIF Patients and Families

 

 

 

Britt stopped by a few days before the luncheon to pick up the “must have” supplies to pass on to Deb for the food prep. Early Sunday morning Barb and Don swung by to pick up the quilts, the notes, pantry bags, and the rest of the supplies.

I stayed home and from all reports I have heard, the luncheon was great! Deb and Barb both checked in afterwards and said it was very busy. The Vitamix even over-heated from all the smoothies Deb was making. It worked fine again after it cooled down. Continue reading September 26 – 5th Floor: Welcome OEF/OIF Patients and Families!

August 22, 2010 – 5 East: Thanksgiving in August? Why not?

Thanksgiving in AugustSunday’s crew members put together a fabulous luncheon for the patients and families on 5 East!  Turkey, ham, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, biscuits and honey, cornbread and jalapeño jelly, fresh fruit, chips and dip, cheese and crackers, salad, cookies and cupcakes, smoothies, sodas, and bottled water made for a great Thanksgiving meal in August!

pantry bags and t-shirts cartAnother group met us there to help with the luncheon and pass out t-shirts so they filled the pantry bags while Susie, Elizabeth, Lew and Stephanie were setting up the buffet.

Pantry bags, cameras, pillowcases, encouragement notes, and Logan’s lollipops along with the t-shirts were handed out when the families or patients came out of the room. Quilts from “Quilts of Valor” were distributed by Susie. The girls made sure all of the patients were given a t-shirt. Lots of smiles and “thank you’s”!

T-shirt Crew August 2010

“T-shirts 4 Troops” came about when NNMC Red Cross volunteers Lauren, Shavani and Karishma decided they wanted to “bring some color” to the hospital wards at Bethesda. Continue reading August 22, 2010 – 5 East: Thanksgiving in August? Why not?

August 19, 2010 – Mercy Hall: A perfect day for a BBQ!

grillin' and chillin' on the patio at Mercy Hall

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I told the butcher I was going to wipe him out of steaks he asked me why. “We’re having a barbecue for the guys wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan tomorrow at Bethesda.”

“Would you like me to cut them fresh for you? It won’t take long, 10 minutes or so.”

“Sure!”

They were just gorgeous and even better, they were on sale!

We arrived at the hospital, unloaded, and while Jess, Susie and Jeanne were setting up inside I was outside showing Wayne and Russell the huge tub of steaks, Continue reading August 19, 2010 – Mercy Hall: A perfect day for a BBQ!

July 29, 2010 – Mercy Hall: Marine Moms-Bethesda Luncheon Today!

entryway to Mercy Hall This is what people saw when they walked into Mercy Hall on the day of our luncheon. A welcoming entryway…a pretty flower arrangement… a poster.

Cool poster, eh? One of our “Elfs” had it made up for us using pictures we have taken over the years. Thank You!
Sometimes even the best laid plans have to be revised. The storm that hit the D.C. area on Sunday as we were leaving the hospital after our 5 East luncheon, affected our volunteers who were coordinating the Thursday luncheon at Mercy Hall. Electricity went out in parts of the area for several days, and food was lost in homes and stores.

Elizabeth had to work at the last minute and couldn’t come. Susie enlisted Lauren and they scampered around gathering things together. Then there was an early morning meet up in rush hour traffic so Elizabeth could pass on something to Susie.

Everything worked out fine.  We have Plans A, B, C, and if needed, Plan D!

I don’t think people realize how scattered Marine Moms-Bethesda’s volunteers are.  Continue reading July 29, 2010 – Mercy Hall: Marine Moms-Bethesda Luncheon Today!

July 25, 2010 – 5th Floor: Red, White, and Beautiful

shopping for the luncheonIt must have been the hottest day of the year when Robin, Jean, Sally and I met to shop for Sunday’s luncheon. With Deb’s beforehand help scoping out Sam’s and figuring out quantities, we were able to be in and out in less than two hours.

Good thing we had the three cars. What didn’t fit in Sally’s SUV went into Robin and Jean’s vehicles.

$842.00 worth of stuff for the luncheon, pantry bags, and a much needed stock-up of serving supplies.  It used to be $350.00 tops for a luncheon. Yes… the hospital is very busy now.

The ERA box was empty and filled with smaller things. What you see doesn’t include what was in my car or at Deb’s or the flowers that would fill Robin’s car the next morning.

Back to Sally’s for the food prep, dinner, and filling the pantry bags.

Bayside Quilters had given us some cloth bags they made for the “ladies bags” we usually take. Because of the number we would be serving, I decided to skip the lady bags and use the cloth bags for the pantry gift bags. They worked out beautifully, were very cheery, and can be used over again by the families for something else.

Priorities are – luncheon food and supplies, Continue reading July 25, 2010 – 5th Floor: Red, White, and Beautiful

June 27, 2010 – 5th Floor: Down but not defeated!

The “Elfs” are up to something…. They suggested I add this to our Supporter’s page…. Dunno why just yet…. But I do know that I have the deepest respect for what Mr. Skypeck does for disabled Veterans, for his service to our country,
and I love his artwork!

skypeckGEORGE L. SKYPECK®
Combat Artist

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Lewis and friends
Photo courtesy of Janet Skerry

One of our luncheon volunteers sent this to me after Sunday’s luncheon on 5 East.

“Down but not Defeated!”
A familiar slogan used by those who have been wounded. They are definitely not defeated!!! The same strength, courage, determination, and drive they used while in the battle field is what is use as they push their bodies in recovery and rehabilitation.

One Wounded Marine wrote this after a recent return visit at Bethesda: Continue reading June 27, 2010 – 5th Floor: Down but not defeated!