The 10th anniversary of September 11th, a day that changed all of our lives in such a remarkable, personal way, brought about many memorial celebrations all over the city of Houston. In Sugar Land, The Mayor James Thompson dedicated a piece from the World Trade Centers to the city of Sugar Land in City Hall right across the walk way in Town Center, which still sits there displayed.
The following Monday, September 12, 2011, MoMs USA, the president of Coco Cola, workers of Minute Maid, the Mayor Thompson, and Jimmy Wynn, a former Astros player representing the Grand Slam for Youth Baseball, all came together to honor Sgt. John Tomsich, his wife, Catrina, and their son Brayden, while also paying tribute to all of the fallen on September 11, 2001, and our soldiers by making and sending care packages to our soldiers overseas.
In celebration of their 125th anniversary of Minute Maid, which happened to coincide with the anniversary of September 11th, the company decided to send 125 care packages, only they exceeded their goal and sent out 147 boxes to individual soldiers and to platoons as well.
The idea came from a dream, an idea from David of Minute Maid. He asked himself, “I wonder if we could send something to the troops?” Before he knew it, Bruce and Fred, from Minute Maid, joined forces with him, then they teamed up with MoMs USA, and it became the event that would change the lives of many.
The celebration started with the President of Coco Cola and Mayor Thompson speaking. This held a special place in his heart because he served 1970-79 in the Army during the Vietnam War. He was not welcomed or appreciated when he came home so when he sees our soldiers and families being welcomed and still shown a tremendous amount of appreciation after all these years, his heart is greatly warmed.
Honoring Sgt. Tomsich, Catrina, and Brayden through MoMs USA, John told his story. He has been to war three different times, only the last trip to Iraq cost him an injury. Sgt. Tomsich and his family have all been living in San Antonio for months while he recovered, and also took place in the Warriors Weekend in May. They will soon be moving to North Carolina where they will be greatly missed here.
Minute Maid then honored all of the families of Minute Maid workers who are and have served, and there were many. MoMs USA shared their stories of their work and the lives that they have helped touch. Mom Gale has been able to capture many of the moments plus stories from our own soldiers on video, which touched the hearts of many, a reminder for those whose families are not directly touched how close it all hits to home. All those who are currently serving right now all over the world were honored by a moment of silence and prayer. Minute Maid and Coca Cola gave John and his family and Mom Gale a gift on behalf of the company and all their workers in honor of their service.
And then it came time to work, pack, label, and ship.
Anyone who worked in Minute Maid had the opportunity to come volunteer part of their work day to put together the boxes. More people showed up than they planned. At least 30 people plus took time out of their day to prepare the boxes, pack, tape up, and write out the address forms to ship them overseas. Smiles and appreciation filled their faces as they served the ones that we love, care for, and serve us.
Minute Maid bought all of the supplies and food to send overseas. They had everything from mac n cheese to hot sauce to socks, anything and everything the soldiers had requested. In every box, a personal letter was sent to the soldiers from the volunteers. Many of the volunteers have friends or family that serve or who have served. Sending the care packages touched close to home for many.
Partnering with the Military the Rest of the Year
Minute Maid does other work with the military throughout the year. Every year during the Christmas season, they help three soldiers and their families by making their dream wish list come true for the holidays. The families send in a wish list and the people at Minute Maid brings it to life.
Both former and current Astros players visit the wounded in both the Army hospitals in Houston and San Antonio. Supplies are also sent throughout the year.
Minute Maid brings their work to the streets of Houston with Grand Slam for Youth Baseball where the players like Jimmy Wynn, Hunter Pence, and people from Minute Maid rebuild old unused baseball fields and clubs for kids to use. Filling the clubs with new fields, equipment, and lessons with the players, offers kids a chance to learn and play baseball where they otherwise would not have had the chance to chase their dreams.
Making a Difference
This just goes to show how the ideas of one or two, the hearts and passions to serve the ones who serve us every day, a desire to tell you how much we and our soldiers are loved can make a difference.
How one idea placed in just one or two heads, combined with dreams, passion, and resources make more happen in one day that touches the lives of so many.
If you would like to know more about MoMsUSA and/or get involved please contact Mom Gale at (281) 536-6999 or visit MoMsUSA.com.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
From my family to yours.
You can follow me on Twitter @KeLLiKellY09