Purple Heart Family Support ™ Bring Lunch to National Naval Medical Center
BETHESDA, MD, March 24, 2007 - Purple Heart Family Support ™ announced the start of new program bringing support to families of injured Marines at the National Naval Medical Center (NNMC) in Bethesda, MD. Purple Heart Family Support ™, a subsidiary of the non-profit MarineParents.com, will bring a monthly free meal to families and patients at the hospital, providing a much needed service as the hospital cafeteria is closed on the weekends.
“While we can’t make our Marines recover faster, knowing we can bring them and their families some comfort and support is incredibly powerful,” said Tracy Della Vecchia, founder of MarineParents.com. “Before undertaking this project, we went to the hospital and talked with the Purple Heart families there and made sure we were providing a service that would be needed. I still can’t get over the gratitude the families were showing us, when we were trying to thank them for their sacrifice.”
Staffed completely by volunteers, Purple Heart Family Support™ was founded on the sole mission to bring support to the families of Marines injured on the battlefield. In addition to providing a monthly meal at NNMC, future projects are in the works to provide additional support to families of injured Marines across the country.
“The volunteers of Purple Heart Family Support™ and MarineParents.com know what it is like to have a loved one in harm’s way – we are the family of Marines stationed across the world,” said Stephanie Valle, a coordinator of the monthly meal project. “The incredible strength of these families at NNMC is unbelievably moving and to be able to give a little something back – bring a smile for a few minutes – is something I will never be able to forget.”
MarineParents.com was founded at the start of the Iraq War as a forum to provide information and support to the families left at home, wondering how their sons, daughters, husbands and wives were doing half a world away. The site has since grown to support more than 30,000 Marine Corps families and has expanded its services to include multiple volunteer projects. These projects include Operation PAL™ a project designed to support the injured Marines by coordinating the delivery of thousands of letters and prayers to Marines while they are recovering, and the Care Package Project ™, which sends thousands of care packages every year overseas to Marines in Iraq.
“The success of Purple Heart Family Support™ hinges on the continued support of corporations, individuals and other philanthropic sponsors. We encourage anyone who is interested in supporting this project to contact us and we’re confidant we’ll be able to find ways to work together to support our Purple Heart familes,” said Della Vecchia.