The Gary Sinise Foundation and Walt Disney World Resort in Florida teamed up this month to honor the families of fallen veterans with the trip of a lifetime.
More than 800 families of fallen veterans were hosted at Disney World this month, WJXX-TV in Jacksonville reported.
This five-day event known as the Snowball Express allowed almost 2,000 people to experience one of the most famous tourist destinations on Earth, the outlet reported.
The Gary Sinise Foundation was founded to “serve our nation by honoring our defenders, veterans, first responders, their families, and those in need,” according to its website.
Snowball Express is just one way the foundation makes that a reality.
“I’ve had several mothers come up to me, with tears in their eyes, and say how grateful they are as moms to know that their children are with other children who experienced similar things,” Donna Palmer, executive director for the Gary Sinise Foundation, said, according to KABC-TV.
“That feeling of comfort and connection means so much to them,” she said.
The families seem to have an appreciation for how much they mean to Sinise and his entire team.
“I am completely overwhelmed by how amazing it has been,” one participant told the outlet. “You just feel the love.”
The Gary Sinise Foundation works to serve these families with “year-round programming and support for families that honors their fallen hero, encourages them to make new memories, and provides opportunities to connect with others who know what they’ve been through.”
“Freedom and security are precious gifts that we, as Americans, should never take for granted,” the actor said in a statement on his foundation’s website.
“We must do all we can to extend our hand in times of need to those who willingly sacrifice each day to provide that freedom and security,” he said. “While we can never do enough to show gratitude to our nation’s defenders, we can always do a little more.”
This past week was a memorable one for @GarySiniseFound. For the first time since 2019, we were able to host families of fallen military heroes for 5 days of healing & joy at Snowball Express 2022! Read the full story & enjoy highlights from the final day! https://t.co/SWC6nGFI7T
— GarySiniseFoundation (@GarySiniseFound) December 16, 2022
It reminds one of a quote from Army Lt. Gen. Harold Moore: “There’s always one more thing you can do to influence any situation in your favor — and after that one more thing, and after that …. The more you do the more opportunities arise.”
The quest to serve the families of those who have given their lives for us doesn’t stop here.
When it comes to helping veterans and their families, there’s always one more thing you can do.
If you’re a veteran struggling this holiday season, please know that you’re not alone. For immediate assistance, you can access the Veterans Crisis Line at any time.
How can you #BeTheOne to help reduce #veteran #suicides?
• Ask #veterans in your life how they are doing.
• Listen when a veteran needs to talk.
• Reach out when a veteran is struggling.
Learn more: https://t.co/QqW4KY8AXE.
Veterans Crisis Line: call or text 988 & press 1 pic.twitter.com/RCuGoqn4uL
— The American Legion (@AmericanLegion) December 19, 2022
For phone assistance, call 988 and press 1. There is a link you can use to chat online right here. You can also text 838255. It’s all confidential, and it’s all free.