In 2017, The Heart Of A Marine Foundation began a new program entitled "Morale Up!"
Barbara Matsukes, executive director of The Heart Of A Marine Foundation, explains, "The Heart Of A Marine Foundation addresses many serious issues concerning military veterans, but there is also a need for balance. Our 'Morale Up!' Program introduces a supportive and encouraging venue for veterans, their family members and caregivers."
Matsukes continued, "It is a program of gratitude, laughter, relaxation, and to place things in perspective."
One event with the "Morale Up!" program included presenting all Army Medal of Honor recipients with a limited edition Army Commemorative watch.
"The Heart Of A Marine Foundation was gifted these wonderful and beautiful time pieces," stated Georgette Frank, president, Gold Star Mom, and co-founder of The Heart Of A Marine Foundation. "We knew we had to be mindful in their distribution. Then it came to us, and the choice was clear: present these watches to all Army Medal of Honor recipients."
Working with the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, every living Army Medal of Honor recipient received a watch.
The Heart Of A Marine Foundation continues under their logo, "Veterans First."
In keeping veterans first, The Heart Of A Marine Foundation experienced a busy and productive 2017. "Keeping veterans first means to be aware of their changing needs," said Roy Frank, Gold Star Dad and co-founder of The Heart Of A Marine Foundation. He added, "we remain fluid and flexible regarding our veterans. Whatever their needs, we stand ready to assist."
Keeping "Veterans First" in 2017, The Heart of A Marine Foundation has:
• Donated over 3,000 items to homeless veterans. Items include: New winter coats, new sweaters, hoodies and other outerwear. Winter hats, gloves, scarves, personal care items, and new bed/bath linens.
• Donated in excess of 1,200 ergonomically correct, orthopedic canes. Over 800 canes were donated to Edward Hine VA therapy departments. "Providing canes was our first project and continues to be our most consistent," state Roy Frank. "Canes will be shipped nationwide, free of charge, to any veteran or military member in need."
• Brought awareness of veteran suicide to our community. Georgette Frank explains, "'Challenge 22' gave our community a chance to complete 22 repetitions of exercises in memory, honor, and awareness of the 22 military veterans that commit suicide each day."
"As long as there is a veteran in need, we will be there," stated Roy Frank, "and the more we become involved by keeping veterans first, the needs become apparent. The Heart Of A Marine Foundation stands firm yet flexible to serve our veterans.
The Heart Of A Marine Foundation in in Elk Grove Village is a registered 501(c)3 organization dedicated to placing veterans and their needs first.
The Heart Of A Marine Foundation was established in memory, honor, and spirit of Marine Lance Corporal Phillip Frank, killed in action in April 2004. For information on The Heart Of A Marine Foundation, and how you can be "A Part of the Heart," visit www.heartofamarine.org, call (847) 621-7324 or follow them at www.facebook.com/TheHeartOfAMarineFoundation.