Giving Back To Our Soldiers [AUDIO]
There is a fairly new charity in New Jersey that has come up with a novel concept to honor and give back to military personnel.
- What's so great about the Garden State? Tell us about your organization at the end of this story.
Weddings For Heroes was started on Veterans Day in 2011 by successful wedding planners and co-founders Sandi Silva and Jewel Georgieff. The idea got started because of the pair both having family members that served in the military. They decided to use that personal connection, as well as the ability to tap into resources from their wedding planning businesses to provide these individuals assistance with tying the knot.
"At Weddings For Heroes, we're definitely trying to outreach each and every single military solider that is in our country," Silva said.
The mission is to fund the weddings to provide a lasting memory that people can cherish.
According to the charity's website, there are certain criteria applicants must meet. The Organization's "Charitable Wedding" grants and programs are limited to:
- Individuals who are currently serving in the United States Military facing hardships or otherwise underprivileged.
- U.S. Military Combat wounded personnel
- U.S. Military Combat Veterans, Including Iraq, Afghanistan.
- All U.S. Military facing hardships or otherwise underprivileged, engaged in current anti-terrorists / Middle East operations not formally declared as wars may be considered as well.
Co-Founder Sandi Silva says they provide number of different services.
"So even if they do not qualify for a wedding, they still walk away with something. We will give them a free planner. We will give them a DJ. We will give them a photographer."
In just a few months of operation, Weddings for Heroes has a solid base of funding, as well as the connections from the co-founders' wedding planning businesses. The community has been instrumental, as well, in getting the word out.
"The outreach and support of the community has been amazing," Silva explains, "Everybody wants to help."
Weddings For Heroes recently held a launch party that served as a fund-raiser and networking event to spread the word about their charity. The first wedding is scheduled for May 25th, and they are hopeful to grow very quickly with aspirations to throw as many weddings as possible for our country's heroes.
"This is our focus that we eat, sleep, and live on every single day," Silva said.
Learn how you can donate or qualify for their programs by visiting the Weddings For Heroes website.
MORE GOOD NEWS
Cinderella's Closet of Monmouth County
High school students facing challenging financial times have a place to turn for their prom attire. Cinderella's Closet of Monmouth County will host a Prom Boutique on March 24 at PNC's Robert Meyner Reception Center in Holmdel. The boutique is available to high school students with limited financial means in need of prom attire. Started five years ago by two then high school students, Cinderella's Closet collects new and gently used formal wear and accessories for prom. Each spring, area high school students facing financial constraints are invited to shop in Cinderella's Closet. For more information, click here.
Hiring Our Heroes Program- New Jersey
Veterans looking for employment have a place to turn. The Hiring Our Heroes program is a nationwide effort to help veterans and military spouses find meaningful employment. In New Jersey, The American Legion has joined forces with the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers to sponsor a Hiring Our Heroes event on March 9 at American Legion T. Nulty Post 471 in Iselin. Auto dealers and related suppliers will be on hand looking to fill various positions. Click here to learn more.