The Gary Sinise Foundation just took more than 1,000 children of fallen U.S. military and first responders, whose families the foundation calls, Gold Star Families, to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
The foundation, which honors members of the U.S. military, first responders, veterans, and members of their family, recently launched its new program: the Snowball Express:
Snowball Express was created to help families heal and relieve the stress around the holidays when missing their loved ones can be really tough. The foundation states, “No matter where these families are in the grieving process, we hope to inspire them to believe anything is possible.
“The holidays can be especially challenging for grieving families. Each December, we host a five-day experience for 1,750+ children of the fallen and their surviving parent or guardian. As a therapeutic retreat with a blend of fun and inspiring programs, these families can lean on their peers for support. And this year we’re bringing Snowball Express to Walt Disney World Resort.”
This even is once a year, but the foundation helps Gold Star Families all year round. The foundation helps send them baseball games, organizes camping trips, and gives them educational opportunities to help “build bonds with the only people who can truly understand their loss: each other.”
The foundation adds that “Family is not limited by the bonds of blood or name. It’s shaped by the stories we share, the freedoms we cherish, and the nation we love.”
Those willing to help can donate their time or resources to the foundation, which helps build homes for veterans, seeks to reduce and prevent suicide, and provides a range of services to military members and their families.