It may still be summer, but in just a few months the IOOF Cemetery will be getting ready for their inaugural Wreaths Across America celebration.
IOOF Board Member Billie Goldstein is leading the cemetery’s effort to support the Wreaths across America program that helps citizens Remember the fallen, Honor those who serve and Teach our children the value of Freedom.
The cemetery will be one of 3,100 locations participating in the national nonprofit program that culminates in a special wreath laying ceremony on National Wreaths across America Day Dec. 17 at 11 a.m.
Goldstein said they have already raised enough funds to surpass their original goal of 370 wreaths, however, she said the extra funds will go toward next year’s ceremony.
“I am still asking for sponsorships so people will feel vested in the laying of the wreaths,” she said. “I want to keep our name out there and in people’s minds as we move forward and remember.”
Most importantly, Goldstein said, they need more volunteers to help lay the wreaths.
“I have the Boy Scouts, VFW and the chamber on board but I need more,” she said. “As it gets closer, I will be going to various organizations — Rotary, churches etc. It is a huge undertaking to make it all go smoothly.”
Goldstein said sponsorships from Home Depot McKinney, Foy Inc., Independent Bank and Dyer Drug have been key.
“Everyone has been so generous,” she said. “We have raised about $2000 to buy signs, flags, banners and the location cards.”
Each year, a new theme is chosen for Wreaths Across America to help volunteers and supporters focus their messaging and outreach in their own communities. The national nonprofit announced its theme for 2022 is “Find a way to serve.”
“You don’t have to be in military service to serve your community and country,” said Karen Worcester, executive director, Wreaths Across America. “Serving others, or being in service to others, gives purpose and I’ve seen first-hand from Gold Star Families to Veterans, how it can help people heal.”
For more information on how to volunteer or sponsor a wreath for an American hero, please call Goldstein at 214- 868-3485. If you would like to sponsor a wreath, visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/TX1114. Wreaths are $15 each or three for $30.