Military spouses receive care packages from non-profit - Camp Lejeune Globe: Carolina Living

Military spouses receive care packages from non-profit

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Posted: Wednesday, May 8, 2019 3:49 pm

Spouses of military service members in the Jacksonville area gathered together at the Jacksonville Commons gym on May 8 to receive appreciation care packages courtesy of Support Military Spouses, the nation’s largest non-profit organization dedicated to serving military wives and husbands.

“Military spouses and their families sacrifice for the freedoms we enjoy,” said Dr. Steven and Diane Rumley, founders of Support Military Spouses in a press release.  “By giving a care package, we wish to say thank you for their service to our country on the home front.”

The delivery party began by Mrs. Rumley addressing the military spouses that filled the gym with a heartfelt talk. Rumley shared her message of faith and urged the audience to know that “God loves you”, and “He hears your prayers” before leading the crowd in prayer.

The items in the care package included stationary, various beauty products and a handwritten thank you note intended to make the spouses feel special and appreciated. Additionally, a copy of the New Testament is always included in packages which are given out at similar events throughout the year in military communities in the coastal Carolinas. 

“This (book) has guided me for years,” Rumley said, holding up a bible in her initial address on May 8. “I hope it guides you, too.”

Volunteers from Wells Fargo helped hand out the packages and said a word of thanks to the spouses as members of Dixon Foods Group and McDonald’s provided free food and beverage for the spouses and their children. The McDonald’s character Hamburglar was even there to entertain the children who came along with their parents.

“We have been partnering with Support Military Spouses and the Care Packages for Military Spouses program for eight years now,” said Candace Windham, marketing manager for Dixon Foods Group. “We always help out with this mid-year event right before Mother’s Day, and then we do the one right around Christmas, which always has a huge turnout. This is a very fulfilling job for me.”

Though the care package items and free food were much appreciated and useful, perhaps the most memorable aspect of these events for the attendees was the opportunity for local military spouses and their young children to come together and be around others who share similar experiences.

“I don’t know anyone here, but I know that a lot of the people here are going through or will go through the same things,” said Chris Ashlock, whose husband is a Marine Corps Staff Sergeant.

It is that sense of community that makes these events so special for the spouses, volunteers and staff members alike.

“I feel like I’m the luckiest person in the world to have a job that lets me do this,” said Victoria O’Neal, a member of McKeeman Communications who was on site to help with the event. 

Support Military Spouses has been giving out care packages to military spouses since 2009, and aims to provide the nearly 750,000 military spouses serving at home with an appreciation care package each year. Co-founder Dr. Steven Rumley served in the Air Force for four years before becoming a minister. Dr. Rumley preached for 37 years before making the decision with his wife to dedicate their lives to ensuring that the spouses of service members know that their commitments do not go unnoticed. Other services Support Military Spouses provides to military families at no cost include job skills training, job fairs and money management workshops.

The next care package delivery party in Jacksonville is scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 11 at 10:30 a.m. at the Jacksonville Commons Gym. Military spouses and children under the age of five must register online to reserve a package.  

For more information on Support Military Spouses, visit www.supportmilitaryspouses.org.

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