The Wreaths Across America program remembers fallen U.S. veterans, honors active service members and teaches the value of freedom.
Every December, participants lay donated wreaths on the headstones of veterans. Several hardware retailers have made the program a part of their community outreach.
Brownsboro Hardware & Paint, which has two locations in Louisville, Kentucky, sponsored the program for the first time this year after the local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution approached the company’s new owner Doug Carroll.
“Since we have the Zachary Taylor National Cemetery less than a half-mile from one of our locations, we jumped at the chance to help,” Carroll says. “We have always been involved in local, civic and charitable causes, and this is one of the most noble that we have been a part of as a business.”
The store matched the first 100 wreaths that customers paid to sponsor.
“We had people walk into the store and sponsor five, 10, 20 and even 100 wreaths, and hundreds more went to our website to sponsor wreaths,” Carroll says. “It was really heartwarming to hear our customers’ stories of friends or family members who served in the military.”
Taylor’s Do it Center, which has six locations in Virginia and North Carolina, also participated in the event, accepting donations in the store and allowing customers to round up their purchases as a donation during the month of November. This was the retailer’s fifth year participating in the event, says Meg Taylor, communications manager.
“Our family has strong military connections and we operate in a community with strong military ties. Like our customers, we deeply recognize the importance of our veterans and the ultimate sacrifice that many have made,” Taylor says. “We will gather to give thanks with friends and family during the holiday season, and for many military families, there will be an empty seat at the table.”
Jeannie Bible, store manager for Big R in Fernley, Nevada, has honored military veterans for many years by placing holiday wreaths on graves at the veterans cemetery in her community. Joining the company as store manager four years ago has allowed her to grow her participation in Wreaths Across America. Under Bible’s leadership, Big R’s Fernley store contributes products to raffle off for an annual fundraiser that helps raise money to pay for wreaths and support veterans with financial needs.
Bible participates as a contestant in the fundraising event, a poker run that involves contestants driving all-terrain vehicles to collect poker cards. Bible contributes all of her poker winnings to the fundraiser.
In addition, she and employees from the store work every year with other volunteers to place thousands of wreaths on the graves of military veterans.
“It’s a great way to give back,” Bible says. “Our cemetery is so beautiful.”
“We had people walk into the store and sponsor five, 10, 20 and even 100 wreaths, and hundreds more went to our website to sponsor wreaths. It was really heartwarming to hear our customers’ stories of friends or family members who served in the military.” —Doug Carroll, Brownsboro Hardware & Paint
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