Hundreds of Volunteers, Thousands of Ornaments – One Goal

November 26th, 2013

Dale City, VA - VFW Post 1503 in Dale City, Virginia, was the place to be on November 24 as hundreds of volunteers came together for the Semper Fi Fund’s fifth annual Purple Heart Ornament Packing Party.

The job at hand was to package and prepare more than 10,700 holiday ornaments for mailing, but the goal was singular: to help brighten the holidays for Marines who have been wounded since the attacks of 9/11 and are Purple Heart recipients.

Photos of a Wonderful Day!

Dale City, VA - Semper Fi Fund volunteers stand ready to sign everyone in to help pack ornaments. (Click photo for larger image)Photo courtesy of the Semper Fi Fund

Dale City, VA - Semper Fi Fund volunteers stand ready to sign everyone in to help pack ornaments. (Click photo for larger image)
Photo courtesy of the Semper Fi Fund

Dale City, VA - Volunteers began to arrive. (Click photo for larger image)Photo courtesy of the Semper Fi Fund

Dale City, VA - Volunteers began to arrive. (Click photo for larger image)
Photo courtesy of the Semper Fi Fund

The ornaments have a rendering of the Purple Heart medal on the front and the Semper Fi Fund’s logo on the back, along with our mission statement: “Serving Those Who Preserve Our Freedom.”

“This was a remarkable day that showcased the combined efforts of the Wounded Warrior Regiment, which provided about 50 volunteers, the Semper Fi Fund, and a broad range of groups in our community,” said Semper Fi Fund Founder and CEO Karen Guenther.

Those groups included Marine Corps Helicopter Squadron One (which sent 21 volunteers), Quantico Base Public Affairs, Battlefield Young Marines, Bull Run Young Marines, Geiger Young Marines, Girl Scout Cadette Troop 2588, Girl Scout Troop 2062 and the Annandale Boys and Girls Club: White Wolves U16 Soccer team.

A photo gallery has been posted to our Facebook page, and the comments are starting to roll in:

“My son is one of the recipients of this ornament every year. They are always spectacularly beautiful. Thank you for all you do for our wounded Marines. As a family member, I know how much this means to them.”

This mother echos the many comments we’ve received over the years about the Purple Heart ornaments since this program began, for example:

“I received a beautiful Purple Heart ornament from you guys and wanted to drop a line to say thank you. It is one of many on my tree that are in honor of my amazing husband who gave the ultimate sacrifice. With sincere thanks from our entire family, I hope everyone in your organization has a happy holiday season.”

“Recently I received a Christmas ornament that was so beautiful and I just wanted to thank you so much for your thoughtfulness and kindness. It means the world to me to know that my son has not been forgotten and that people still care. It's a very difficult time of the year and it means so much.”

“My husband was injured twice in Iraq and receives the Purple Heart ornament. I can't tell you how much he appreciates the fact that he is still thought of and how proud he is of these ornaments. Your ornaments have helped him get back into the holiday spirit and not focus so much on the Marines he lost in Iraq and feeling guilty about why he is celebrating with his family and they are not. Some may look at it as just an ornament, but it has done much more than that for our family.”

“I wish I could take the spirit that was in the air at VFW Post 1503 and bottle it,” Karen added. “So many people coming together, laughing, smiling, having fun—all for a great cause. I can’t think of a better way to kick off the holiday season!”

More Photos of a Wonderful Day!

Dale City, VA - Hundreds of volunteers showed up to help pack ornaments on this cold November morning! (Click photo for larger image)Photo courtesy of the Semper Fi Fund

Dale City, VA - Hundreds of volunteers showed up to help pack ornaments on this cold November morning! (Click photo for larger image)
Photo courtesy of the Semper Fi Fund

Dale City, VA -  Hundreds show up this morning to help the Semper Fi Fund mail more than 10,700 Purple Heart ornaments to more than 10,700 injured Marines who have received the Purple Heart. Click photo for larger imagePhoto courtesy of the Semper Fi Fund

Dale City, VA - Hundreds show up this morning to help the Semper Fi Fund mail more than 10,700 Purple Heart ornaments to more than 10,700 injured Marines who have received the Purple Heart. (Click photo for larger image)
Photo courtesy of the Semper Fi Fund

Dale City, VA - Hundreds of volunteers showed up to help pack ornaments on this cold November morning! (Click photo for larger image)Photo courtesy of the Semper Fi Fund

Dale City, VA - Hundreds of volunteers showed up to help pack ornaments on this cold November morning! (Click photo for larger image)
Photo courtesy of the Semper Fi Fund

Dale City, VA - Volunteer Alex Wenhold of the Geiger Young Marines won the first raffle prize - A Semper Fi Fund back pack! (Click photo for larger image)Photo courtesy of the Semper Fi Fund

Dale City, VA - Volunteer Alex Wenhold of the Geiger Young Marines won the first raffle prize - A Semper Fi Fund back pack! (Click photo for larger image)
Photo courtesy of the Semper Fi Fund

Dale City, VA - Ready to mail! More than 10,700 ornaments were packaged by volunteers and stand ready to mail!. (Click photo for larger image)Photo courtesy of the Semper Fi Fund

Dale City, VA - Ready to mail! More than 10,700 ornaments were packaged by volunteers and stand ready to mail!. (Click photo for larger image)
Photo courtesy of the Semper Fi Fund

Dale City, VA - Mission accomplished! Semper Fi Fund CEO and Founder, Karen Guenther (right) stands with Senior Director of Case Management - East, Susan Rocco (left), Ellen Dunford (second from left) and Debbie Paxton (next to Karen). (Click photo for larger image)Photo courtesy of the Semper Fi Fund

Dale City, VA - Mission accomplished! Semper Fi Fund CEO and Founder, Karen Guenther (right) stands with Senior Director of Case Management - East, Susan Rocco (left) and volunteers. (Click photo for larger image)
Photo courtesy of the Semper Fi Fund

Dale City, VA - Semper Fi Fund CEO and Founder, Karen Guenther with  Sergeant Major Michael T. Mack of the Wounded Warrior Regiment. (Click photo for larger image)Photo courtesy of the Semper Fi Fund

Dale City, VA - Semper Fi Fund CEO and Founder, Karen Guenther with
Sergeant Major Michael T. Mack of the Wounded Warrior Regiment. (Click photo for larger image)
Photo courtesy of the Semper Fi Fund

Dale City, VA - Mission accomplished! Semper Fi Fund Senior Director of Case Management - East, Susan Rocco (left) and Senior Case Manager, Janine Canty. Janine was instrumental in coordinating today's event. Thanks Janine!! (Click photo for larger image)Photo courtesy of the Semper Fi Fund

Dale City, VA - Mission accomplished! Semper Fi Fund Senior Director of Case Management - East, Susan Rocco (left) and Senior Case Manager, Janine Canty. Janine was instrumental in coordinating today's event. Thanks Janine!! (Click photo for larger image)
Photo courtesy of the Semper Fi Fund