Presents for Patriots 2016



Categories: Highlights

This Christmas, our donors enabled Freedom Alliance to heap presents under the trees of 126 military families across the country. Three hundred and sixty-four children received gifts. The total number of people affected—including heroes, spouses, and their children—was 599!

Presents for Patriots is truly one of our most touching programs, through which we can help veterans who are struggling to provide for their families at this crucial time of the year.

By ticking off wish lists, matching donors to families, and making special visits, Freedom Alliance makes Christmas merry instead of stressful. Furthermore, we spread a message of hope and caring to those families who sometimes feel forgotten.

These heroes have sacrificed their health, safety, and prosperity. They have spent considerable time away from their spouses and children. All to protect us—our nation and our freedoms.

What better time of year to take care of them for a change?

Staff Sergeant Michael in Ohio wrote to us after Christmas about how Presents for Patriots impacted him and his family:

“[You have] restored my belief that my sacrificed mattered to someone, and that everything I did had a purpose.”

This father of four (ages 4 to 18) was medically retired from the Army after three deployments and degenerative disc disease.

Not only did Freedom Alliance adopt Michael’s family into Presents for Patriots, we provided an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington State so they could see Michael’s mother, who, with lung cancer, is given only months to live.

Michael said, “By the time I could have got money put away for the tickets, it would have been too late.”

He sent us a photograph of his family, saying, “I will make sure they know good people still exist and there are acts of service that can change the lives of others.”

Another family that has pulled on our heartstrings this year belongs to Demetrius. He and his wife, Shannon, have three children (ages 16, 11, and 5).

Due to a brain tumor, Demetrius has undergone chemotherapy, radiation, and several surgeries, one of which was to remove his cranial bone. Shannon has resigned from her job to take care of her husband, who suffers seizures as well.

Fallen behind on their bills, this family had no money for Christmas presents.

But this December, the family’s Freedom Alliance sponsor personally delivered their Christmas gifts to Fort Riley in Kansas—where everyone was in tears.

Shannon told us, “To know we’ll have at least one more Christmas with Demetrius is overwhelming.”

Another spouse wrote to us from Alabama. Leigh is married to Army Specialist Joseph, who sustained a traumatic brain injury from two combat deployments. This disability causes memory loss, cognitive impairment, and balance issues.

With seven children to provide for, this family was in trouble. Their older daughter was trying to find a job to help with the household bills.

Not knowing where else to turn, Leigh reached out to Freedom Alliance, talking to our staff. “They gave us hope when I felt lost,” she said.

On Christmas Eve, four big boxes filled with presents arrived from a sponsor family. Leigh said she was still in disbelief that someone had come to their rescue.

“Christmas Day was so different for the first time in my adult life,” she said.

A Marine Corps family with the Wounded Warrior Battalion in North Carolina wrote to