It has always been an honor to serve the patients and their families and today was no different.
As things have changed at the hospital, we’ve adapted our luncheons. Thoughts of years past and how things have changed come to mind as we reflect on those we’ve served.
Our main mission since 2007 has been serving wounded warriors and their family members. This is why we formed – to serve our “sons by another mother” who were so far from home. And now we sometimes serve our “daughters by another mother”, too.
As the numbers of combat casualties have decreased, we’re serving “regular” active duty, Veterans, and their families more so than combat patients. Because there are fewer combat casualties, we adjusted our schedule to three luncheons this year.
The luncheons impact is still the same. Food for the families when the cafeteria in the hospital is closed, family members stay with us to eat because their loved one can’t have solids, the surprise that we’re there, and the appreciation and thanks for the meal and niftie-gifties.
Our supporters and “Elfs” are very much appreciated by those we serve. You help to make the luncheons quite awesome!
Thank you to the Marine Mom-Bethesda “Elfs” who brought Holiday Cheer to Walter Reed!
We love how “Elfs” from different parts of the country show their support during such a special time of year to those we serve! You are SO appreciated!
Thank You for entrusting Marine Moms-Bethesda as a steward of your donations and gifts in support of our mission of bringing food and comfort items to the injured, ill, and wounded warriors and their families at Walter Reed.
You help brighten their time spent during their recovery at the hospital, and you are more appreciated than you know. Thank you for caring.
The Holiday Cheer 2015 “Elfs”: Thank You!
Their very generous donations made this year’s event possible.
Florida: The Zabel Family; Cheryl & Ted
Maryland: Choptank Marine Corps League Detachment #439; US Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 21-03; Dina; Jessi
Washington: WA State Operation Thank You
“Elf Barb” screened, sorted, and bundled the cards up in a cheery bow. Thank you, Barb!
Thank you, Cards Elves!
California: “Women in Recovery”
Florida: The Zabel Family, The Frase Family, Marilyn & Crew, and Cheryl.
Maryland: Michelle; Choptank MCL Detachment; Our Lady of Victory/Baltimore grades K, 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5.
The hand-written, and sometimes homemade, cards were distributed during our December 6 Holiday Cheer luncheon on the 4th floor to patients either directly, or to their family members to give to their loved ones. They were given to combat patients, and to “regular” active duty or Veterans who were surgical and cancer patients on the 4th floor.
The handmade cards were beautiful – no they were gorgeous! The ones from the kids were great, the blank batch sorted into packets with stamped envelopes were really appreciated, but most of all, the heartfelt notes and thoughts inside the cards were uplifting and encouraging. Continue reading Holiday Cheer 2015 Updates→
Over the years, our November luncheons have become a celebration of the Marine Corps’ Birthday and Veterans Day.
I remember a few years ago, a Marine in a wheelchair came into the luncheon room and all he wanted was a piece of cake. He told us he hadn’t had a piece of birthday cake and was so glad we had one.
Another year, Janet had brought a huge turkey and we had all the fixin’s for a good southern Thanksgiving meal. I was outside of the luncheon room next to the niftie-giftie table and a Marine in a wheelchair came out of the room with a heaping plate and a turkey leg laying right smack on top of everything, with a huge grin on his face. It’s the little things…
The ward was pretty quiet this luncheon.
The Team: Dina, Deb, and Jane, with help from Julie, and Ryan from the Inpatient Warrior Family Office.
The Menu: deviled eggs, turkey & gravy, sliced ham, cornbread dressing, green beans, chicken noodle soup, fresh fruit salad, assorted rolls, assorted drinks, fresh smoothies, pumpkin pie, and of course, USMC Birthday Cake!
The Niftie-Gifties: quilts, pillowcases (from Bayside Quilters), hand-knit slippers (from Carole and the Castaways) and scarves (from Dina), DVDs (from Dina’s friend), and snack bags (made up by our “Bag Lady”, Julie).
Every luncheon has at least one moment that stays with us. Dina sent me this after the luncheon:
“I’m still thinking of that sweet lady/mom that jumped right in and helped us and then checked in on us again as we were cleaning up. What a blessing she was! I wish I got to talk to her some more.”
She was so helpful! She checked back in with us while we were packing up, on her way to the Fisher House to see if we needed help. We gave her extra snack bags to give out to people she knew there.
Many thanks to our volunteers and supporters for your help making the luncheon a success. You are SO appreciated!
Happy 240th Birthday, Marines!
To our Veterans, thank you for serving!
Until next time, continued prayers for our military and their families.
So… a hurricane formed down in the Bahamas the week before the luncheon.
Okay, no problem, this storm will be here and gone before the weekend gets here. Or so we thought.
Joquain decided to take his good ol’ sweet time spinning around down there traveling 3 or 4 miles an hour for what seemed like forever. It’s so easy to let oneself be dragged into the panic of a potentially deadly hurricane traveling up the Chesapeake Bay and by 2 PM Wednesday I was wondering if we should cancel.
By Friday the path was forecast far enough away we were comfortable enough to go through with the luncheon. Then we worried about wind restrictions and the Bay Bridge being closed. Thankfully it all worked out.
Dina, Deb, and myself. Thank you, Ladies! Job well done! And thank you to the Corpsman who came in on his day off to check on us, we appreciated your help!
Nope, we don’t. With the number of combat casualties down this year the luncheons have become smaller. We’re serving more non-combat patients than we are combat patients. When Dina asked how many to plan for I gave her smaller number than we’ve ever taken food for, based on the last few luncheons and they ended up serving almost three times that number. Okay, so we’re always worried we’re going to run out… She tells me they had very little in the way of leftovers.