Thursday, December 4th – MM-B’s “Holiday Cheer 2014” Luncheon at the USO

Our annual Holiday Luncheon!

stockings, cards, and cookiesSpecial Thanks to:

The Warrior Family Coordination Cell for helping us coordinate the event.

The Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Regiment-East at Walter Reed for their advice and help.

Preventative Med for ensuring the safety of our service members through good food practice policies.

The USO at Walter Reed for the use of their room and kitchen, and to their volunteers for assistance.

Huge Thanks to:

Our “Elfs”, many of whom who have been doing “Elfie” stuff with us since 2007, helping to make the event so special!

Our MM-B Volunteers, who pull everything together to make the luncheon a success!

And most especially, Tremendous Thanks to:

Our Nation’s service members and Veterans who’ve put their lives on the line defending our country.

Gingerbread houses at USO 2014
Gingerbread houses in front of the welcoming fireplace at the Walter Reed USO. Photo courtesy of Gladys.


 A room at the USO at Walter Reed.

Luncheon Sponsors:

Choptank Marine Corps League Detachment #439

Washington State Operation Thank You

Joanna & Joel in Florida

Barbara in Alabama

Mary T. in Maryland

Buffet, almost ready to serve!
We’re almost ready to serve! Luncheon Team: Gladys, Bob, Deb and Jane


Cheese & pepperoni platter

Turkey & Ham

Mashed Potatoes & Gravy

Dressing & Rolls

Green Beans & Sweet Potato Casserole

Fresh Fruit Salad

Elfie Cookies

Asst. Drinks


5 stockings for women and 15 for men.
5 stockings for women and 15 for men. Stocking Team: Jess, Jason, Jaime, and Graeme Stockings made and donated by Bayside Quilters of the Eastern Shore

Stocking Sponsors:

Barbara, Marine Family, Alabama

Jana, Marine Mom, Alaska

Carey and Chris, US Navy (ret.), Maryland

Barbara, Army wife, Maryland

Terri, Marine Aunt, North Carolina

Torina, Marine Mom, Utah

womens stockings
Stocking stuffers. Photos courtesy of Jess.
Mens stocking stuffers
Mens stocking stuffers Items in the stockings varied by color and style. Gift cards were worth $10.00 each. Gloves were donated by an anonymous benefactor, and we had some other unexpected donations so were able to add to the stockings.
Cookie “Elfs”: Janelle, Delaware Jean, Ohio Bayside Quilters of the Eastern Shore Outreach members Cookie Team: Deb, Barry, Jeanne and Chris
Bags of cards
Card Team: Barb and Diva

Card Elfs:

Florida: Jan Z. and Momma Dee

Colorado: Ellen-Alisa

Maryland: Bayside Quilters, Our Lady of Victory School, Brook Grove Retirement Center

North Carolina: Terri

Oregon: Marilyn

Texas: The Allman Family, 2/7 Golf Co.

Bob with the niftie gifties

Niftie-gifties (in kind donations):

Bayside Quilters of the Eastern Shore: quilts, pillowcases, and afghans

Jean: Marine lap quilts & wooden service branch ornaments

Jennifer – Pepperidge Farm cookies, given to the USO & the MCLO

Gloves in the stockings were from an anonymous benefactor.

Cost: (updated 12.17.14)

Holiday Cheer: Income & Expenses

Served 24

Income:     $845.00

Expense: – $855.48


  Difference:      $ -10.48

Income: does not include in kind donations (quilts, pillow cases, gloves, and ornaments)

donations specified toward the event – $445.00

donations specified for the stockings – $400.00


Total Income: $845.00

Expenses: (updated 12.17.14)

food and supplies – $240.63 ($10.02 per person)

cards –                    $ 12.59 (bags for the cards)

cookies –                  $ 15.90 (containers)

stockings & gifts –     $586.36 (stocking stuffers, lights, & wrapping supplies)


Total Cost of “Holiday Cheer 2014” – $855.48


Moving over to the USO for our Thursday luncheons has been different than past years when we’ve been in the Mercy Hall lobby or on the hospital ward. We love the facilities (there’s so much room and a full kitchen) and so do the service members we’ve spoken with. It’s a wonderful place for them to hang out and relax. The USO volunteers are very welcoming, making everyone who enters feel special.

The USO building is down the road a little ways from the area the wounded Warriors and their families live and spend most of their time, making it difficult for them to get over to us for mid-day luncheons, especially with the colder weather.

Doctor appointments, physical therapy, med boards, and other appointments taking up their day with short breaks in between keeps them very busy. A small number are able to join us, though, most likely by happenstance. It’s been a challenge getting word out about the luncheons. We’re working on this. Perhaps when warmer weather returns and word spreads, we’ll have more of a turnout from the Bldg. 62 and Sanctuary Hall people.

The majority of who we serve at the USO are men and women stationed on base, and sometimes Veterans from out of town filling time between doctor appointments. A few wives and their children stop in, too. Their gratitude is just as deep as that of the wounded Warriors.

The stockings, cookies, cards and other items were given to wounded Warriors as intended. Some of the cards, cookies, quilts, and ornaments were given to others, active duty or Veterans, who came in for lunch.

Nifte-gifties left at the end of the luncheon were divided between the Marine Corps Liaison Office to give to their wounded Marines and the Warrior Family Coordination Cell for the other service branches wounded Warriors.

We had also been given cases of cookies and divided those between the USO and MCLO. The cookies were probably gone in a day or two.

By the end of the day Friday I had heard back from Mia, the Family Support Coordinator for the Marines’ Wounded Warrior Regiment at Walter Reed:

I already picked up all the donations and passed them out to our patients and their families. Thank-you for everything.

It’s been an honor working with our volunteers and the staff at the hospital who’ve enabled the luncheons to happen this year.

The notes that come with donations and gifts to distribute for the luncheons are at times very touching. We’re humbled our donors have chosen Marine Moms-Bethesda as stewards of their donations. Thank you for your support and for making a difference in the lives of so many who have sacrificed so much for this great Nation.

I think I can speak for our volunteers when I say it’s always a humbling experience and an honor to serve the men, women, and children we meet at Walter Reed. Thank you for who you are and all you do.

We’re reminded each visit that

Freedom isn’t Free!

Troops are still serving in dangerous places all over the world and many military families will have an empty chair at the table this holiday season as they count down to Homecoming. Always in our thoughts are our precious Gold Star Families whose loved ones have given their all. Please keep them in your prayers.

Wishing you and yours’ a peaceful and happy Holiday season.  See you in 2015!

Love and Hugs,