color: SOME SOLDIER'S MOM: 2008 SNOWBALL EXPRESS (Christmas is for Children)

Monday, December 01, 2008

2008 SNOWBALL EXPRESS (Christmas is for Children)

Snowball Express started in early 2006 with a simple idea: America should honor and pay tribute to the children of those military fallen heroes who have died while honorably serving since 9/11. In December of 2006, nearly 900 family members from all across America and the world gathered in Southern California for an unforgettable holiday gathering. Kids and widows discovered they weren't alone. And they found they weren't forgotten.

It was a totally volunteer effort which came together in just a few months to create the largest all-expense-paid gathering for the families of our fallen warriors since 9/11.

In 2007, another unique event was planned for the week after Thanksgiving. This time, over 1,100 children and surviving parents attended as guests of Americans, corporations, and service groups who donated their time, money and resources to create another healing event. Nearly 400 family members attended Snowball Express for the first time. See the smiling faces HERE.

American Airlines, Oakley, Quiksilver, Panda Express, Taco Bell, Starwood, Marriott, Best Western, Southwest Airlines, AirTran Airways, JetBlue Airways, Disneyland and countless other partners and sponsors, combined with thousands of volunteers in Southern California and all across America, contributed and volunteered because it was the right thing to do. Nationally recognized organizations like Ladies Auxiliary VFW, Rotary Clubs, Vietnam Veterans of America, American Legion, Patriot Guard Riders and others stepped forward to donate their resources and gifts. Other local service clubs, churches and schools also donated resources to help the cause.

American Airlines stepped up to be the official airline of Snowball Express, with three aircraft donated for charter purposes. All pilots and flight attendants donated their time to spend the weekend with the families. Other companies from all across America are also helping to show these children and our fallen heroes’ surviving spouses that they’re not forgotten and that America cares.

The 2008 SNOWBALL EXPRESS is happening Dec. 17 and Dec. 18... and I received this request this morning:

We are in need of volunteers at Universal Studios on Wed, Dec 17 from 9:30am-6pm and on Thurs, Dec 18 at Disneyland and CA/Adventure 8am-midnight. Volunteers are assigned around the parks to help families with any assistance they may need, watching toddlers and infants, pushing strollers, riding on rides with older children, etc. Please know that we are unable to cover the expense of the entrance ticket for volunteers but we can offer you a discount price. Universal is $50, Disneyland is $40 and the Park Hooper for Disney and CA Adventure is $53. I have two shifts to cover at Disney (8am-4pm and 4pm-midnight). I need help for both shifts but the late shift is of course harder to fill and a greater need if you are willing. You may want to consider helping for a day or night shift and spend the other half the day enjoying free time around the park. If you decide to assist at the theme parks, please send me your t-shirt size and cell phone number to contact the day of the event if needed.

If this is not an option I have another suggestion. You can join in the Walk of Gratitude on Friday, Dec 19th from 10-11am. We are asking the community to line the street on Convention Way between the Hilton hotel and the Convention Center in Anaheim. Families will walk from their hotels to the Anaheim Convention Center for a private party starting at 11am. We ask that people line the streets around 10am and the families will be escorted to the Convention Center starting around 10:30am. You can bring American flags to wave, cheer, hold handmade signs, etc. Just come out and show your support and honor these families to let them know that we have not forgotten their loved ones and their sacrifice for us and our country. This is the most memorable experience of the entire event for most families and it will be for the community too!!

Please let me know if you would like to get involved. We want to ensure it is an awesome experience and we need the help of many people to make it happen and give them the royal treatment they deserve!!

Thank you again and Happy Holidays!!

Michele Barto
Volunteer Co-Chair
Snowball Express
If being in California to assist in this worthwhile effort is not an option, consider donating to this worthy cause. Any contribution amount is welcome from $1 up. It takes $500 to sponsor a child's trip; $1,500 for a family of three. Tax deductible donations are welcome. To make a donation, please click here.

Also know that corporations can become sponsors!! Organizations can lend their hearts to help mend those of the survivors in small towns and big cities all across America. If you’re an individual, they’ll take your dollars. One or a thousand.

There are no votes in these efforts. No lobbying, no politics.

No Republicans. No Democrats. Only Americans.

These people died as Americans. Let’s step up as Americans and help their families.

Dig deep. Please. They deserve no less.

For information about Snowball Express, please email

To see the smiles and the joy of these children -- it's what Christmas is really all about.

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At 12/05/2008 11:12 PM , Blogger Shane said...

This is such a phenomenal idea and organization! I am definitely going to repost this on our website!


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