Community loads buses with items for military personnel overseas
Members of the Medford community came together in April for Operation Yellow Ribbon’s Fill a School Bus, where care items are collected for military members overseas.
Buses are filled to the brim as part of Operation Integrity 2023, a community-wide effort hosted this year by December Shover at her Medford business, A Rose in December Florist Shop. As always, Dave Silver and a group of volunteers were there to represent Operation Yellow Ribbon.
Volunteering for the effort came in many forms, from Girl Scouts delivering cookies, help from the Medford and Marlton police departments, the Lenape school district supplying buses and the Lakewood Corvette Club making a donation.
The community-driven event resulted in three full buses of donations last year. This year saw five buses full early on the day of the collection, with more donations on the way.
“It is important to me because I have seen firsthand when my son came home from his deployment,” Shover said of hosting the donation collection. “It’s never easy to let your kid serve their country because of how dangerous it is. However, the pride that you feel for them is on another level.”
Shover attributes the success of the fundraising event to a strong community.
“For the past five years, we’ve been blessed enough to have many, many, many different community members show up to help, like Saint Mary of the Lakes Church and Murphy’s Market,” she noted.
“We’ve had over 145 local businesses help out and give a financial donation,” Shover added.” With all of their help, we have raised a little over $30,000, which will cover the shipping costs.”
The Lenape school district staff has given countless hours to the Operation Yellow Ribbon effort by picking up supplies and being on hand to load buses. And Silver thanked the entire community for the event’s success.
“The best thing we can receive is knowing how much this helps our troops overseas,” Silver noted. “The (troops) send back cards, thank-you letters and sometimes challenge coins, and they are some of the best gifts that we can receive.”
For more information, visit OperationYellowRibbon.org