During the holiday season, there is nothing more rewarding than sharing the holiday spirit with our military families. On Saturday, December 12th, the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation was proud to team up with CAMMO and Heidi’s Pantry for another wonderful holiday party for the military families at Fort Belvoir.
The T2T team was up before the sun, traveling to Virginia to bring delicious catering from Staten Island’s Beyar’s Market as well as hundreds of toys! Beyar’s Market has been a tremendous supporter of the Foundation for many years, and always comes through for us! We cannot thank Beyar’s enough for opening the store early so we could grab the food items and hit the road bright and early.
In addition, we’d be remiss if we didn’t thank our generous toy donors for their continued support! We are certainly lucky to have so many wonderful people who not only support our various programs, including Building for America’s Bravest, throughout the year, but also come through with donations of toys for children during the holiday season. We’d never be able to have such a terrific impact without these donations – they are a huge help!
Upon arriving at Fort Belvoir, our T2T volunteers jumped right to work with the volunteers from CAMMO and Heidi’s Pantry. The food spread and paper products needed to be set up, as did the special area where the children would meet Santa and pick out their toys. We have met such great people from both organizations and love working together to bring holiday cheer!
The families were so thankful and humble for the opportunity to have their children pick out toys from Santa. A few of the families even brought homemade thank you notes that the children handed out, accompanied by huge hugs, to the volunteers from Tunnel to Towers, CAMMO, and Heidi’s Pantry. Receiving these thank you notes showed how important the holiday party is to these military families. It’s exactly the reason why the T2T team is happy to participate in giving back to our service members during the holiday season.
One story from the day was particularly heartwarming to the Tunnel to Towers staff. A young boy reminded us all of the spirit of giving. While selecting toys, rather than taking two for himself, he opted to take one for him, and another to give to his little sister on Christmas morning. He wanted to surprise her with a jewelry set that he knew she would love. The moment was incredibly moving, and led the T2T staff to insist that the young boy pick a third item for himself. This is definitely what the season is all about. We are very proud to be part of making this family’s holiday so special.
Capping off the day was a surprise visit to Fort Belvoir from Cpl. Larry Bailey and his wife, Desiree. The Bailey family is part of our Building for America’s Bravest program. The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation will be building a home for the family in Virginia in 2016. Upon hearing that the T2T team was at Fort Belvoir, Larry and Desiree, who live nearby, wanted to stop by say hi and spend time with their “T2T family.” We also had the opportunity to give the expecting couple some baby toys! Desiree is due to give birth to their first child this winter! Sharing time with the Baileys was a special holiday gift for the T2T team!
Seeing the big smiles on the faces of the military children and their families made the day spectacular. Tunnel to Towers is grateful to have been part of such a special day giving back to those who serve. Thank you CAMMO and Heidi’s Pantry for inviting the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation to take part in this special holiday party. We are so blessed to be associated with so many like-minded organizations working to “do good” for those who bravely serve our nation.
The staff at the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation would like to wish all of our military families a wonderful holiday season, and, as always, to thank you for your service.
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