Pennsylvania AFSCME Members Support Military Families Through USO

The American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 13’s Next Wave committee, made up of AFSCME leaders under the age of 35, held a book and donation drive at the AFSCME Council 13 convention in Hershey, PA in April to support the USO and United Through Reading’s Military Program. No one knew what to expect, but support came out in full force –  the event raised $5,000 and 400 children’s’ books were donated to help connect military families!

The USO partnership with United Through Reading allows our deployed troops the ability to read their kids a bedtime book and virtually be there, even when they can’t be there in-person. Whether troops are stationed at a forward operating base in Afghanistan or deploying overseas, they can visit their participating USO center to read a story aloud to their child. Mom or Dad’s special storytime is recorded on camera, and the USO mails this priceless DVD and book home. Children can watch and listen to their parent at bedtime, naptime or anytime.

“You can always count on Council 13 members to do all they can for our military. Our delegation in April was truly moved to hear about the overwhelming success of the USO’s United Through Reading program, and I couldn’t be more proud of the efforts put forth by our membership to bring deployed troops and their families just a little bit closer,” said David Fillman, Executive Director of AFSCME Council 13.  With the aid of many members and locals from across the state, AFSCME Council 13’s donation will help 900 military children “see” their deployed mom or dad and help to lift the spirits of our nation’s youngest heroes.

What’s your favorite bedtime story?

Wonder Bread Partners With the USO to Honor American Heroes

For a second year, Wonder® bread is partnering with us to celebrate ordinary Americans making extraordinary contributions to their families, communities and country with the 2012 Wonder Bread Heroes program. Wonder is inviting families across the country to join the celebration and nominate American heroes in their lives for a chance to have $50,000 donated to the USO in the winning hero’s name. The Wonder Bread Hero winner will also receive $2,500 and a year’s supply of Wonder to enjoy with his or her family!

“The USO and Wonder bread are two great American classics,” Tameika Miller, Wonder brand manager, says. “For more than 70 years, the USO has been making a difference in the lives of our American troops and their families. And for more than 90 years, Wonder bread has been a staple in American households and a family favorite. The Wonder Bread Heroes campaign gives us a chance to honor Americans making a difference in the lives of those around them while supporting the USO’s mission and the creative programs it offers.”

Know someone who deserves to win? Nominate them at www.wonderbreadheroes.com today!

The USO Proud Patriots Club

The limited edition car magnet the USO is releasing today is special in two ways.

First, it conveys a powerful message: “I’m a Proud Patriot and I Support Our Troops.” Secondly, it is only being issued to USO Proud Patriots, a group of members who have chosen to honor the service and sacrifices of our troops by making a monthly pledge of financial support.

To make sure we can be there for our troops through every twist and turn in 2012, we’re on a drive to add 1,000 new USO Proud Patriots by January 31. Will you step forward and become a USO Proud Patriot today?

Become a USO Proud Patriot with a monthly pledge of $5, $10, $15 or more and get your limited edition car magnet.

As a USO Proud Patriot, you’ll be playing a pivotal role in delivering support to our troops. More USO Proud Patriots means more free phone calls home for our troops, more USO care packages distributed on the front lines, more bedtime stories from troops to their children who miss them every night as well as providing many of the other comforts of home.

It also means tangible help to returning troops adjusting to life at home after long and difficult service overseas. As a USO Proud Patriot, you’ll also be supplying enduring care for those who have returned home from war with wounds that need healing.

Take a strong stand for our troops. Make a monthly pledge of $5, $10, $15 or more.

We only have a few days to meet our goal of 1,000 new USO Proud Patriots. Help us get there by making your personal commitment now. – Kelli Seely
USO Chief Development Officer

At Home in Our Hearts

They’ve sacrificed so much for our country. Now, our troops are counting on us.

Your year-end donation to the USO’s At Home in Our Hearts campaign will help deliver vitally important services to our service men and women. And starting today, any gift you make through December 31st will be matched by a generous supporter — up to $350,000.

Whether they’re embarking on a new deployment in Afghanistan or returning from a difficult tour of duty in Iraq, you can let our troops know they’re At Home in Our Hearts. Your gift of $10, will provide $20 of support for our troops thanks to this limited-time matching gift opportunity.

Double the impact of your generosity with a tax-deductible gift to our troops today.

As always, you can count on the USO to be right there on the front lines with our troops on duty in Afghanistan. They may not have made it home for the holidays, but, with your support, we’ll make it clear they are At Home in Our Hearts with free phone calls home, military care packages, mobile USO2GO units reaching troops at remote outposts and more.

With your help, the USO will also be there for those returning from service in Iraq, many of them after multiple deployments. We’ll extend a helping hand to children who have spent most of their lives thousands of miles away from Mom or Dad. We’ll be there for those who have come back from the front lines wounded. We’ll honor our troops not just in words, but in deeds.

Make your At Home in Our Hearts matching gift today.

I’m so grateful for all that supporters like you do, especially around the holidays, when our troops miss their homes more than ever. I can’t tell you how much it means to them to be able to count on USO centers and supporters for a cup of coffee, some time to relax with friends, or a simple hug.

Sincerely,

General James Jones

Bills Khakis 20th Anniversary Celebrates American Heritage, Our Military and the USO

Bills Khakis 20th Anniversary Cramerton Khaki will retail for $195 and will include a commemorative canvas bucket bag.

Bills Khakis is introducing Limited Edition 20th Anniversary Khakis this October. The Khakis are cut from the original WWII cloth known as Cramerton Twill, and as with all Bills Khakis products, the pant will be made in America with distinctive features and detailing.

In conjunction with the introduction and sale of this product, Bills Khakis will donate a portion of the proceeds to the USO.  Today we share a special message from Bill Thomas, Founder/CEO of Bills Khakis…

The history of Bills Khakis can be traced back over 20 years to a visit I made to a remote Army Surplus store some 15 miles west of my college campus in central Ohio. There I discovered a pair of original WWII khakis which not only turned out to be the best pair of khakis I had ever found, they also represented a forgotten piece of Americana that was worth preserving and celebrating.

Today, this effort is shared among 20 employees at our headquarters in Reading, Pennsylvania, as well as hundreds of sewers, craftsmen and retailers across the United States. Through the simple act of producing Bills Khakis, the brand remains a touchstone of American values for our stakeholders as well as tens of thousands of customers throughout the United States and around the world.

And while we take great pride in what the Bills Khakis brand represents, our efforts pale in comparison to the vital support and services provided by the USO to our military and their families. We are sincerely humbled by our ability to contribute to the USO in a very small way as we embark on our third decade in business.

So we see the choice to celebrate our 20th Anniversary with the USO as both natural, and an obligation, bringing us full circle, back to our roots, serving as a profound reminder of why we are in business today.

At the heart of America’s economic engine is manufacturing. At the heart of America’s cause for freedom is our military. We thank all those who have chosen to participate in the preservation and furthering of these two fundamental American values.

Only One Week Left to Support the Troops with Just a Click!

My, how time flies!  It seems like only yesterday that we were telling you about the “60 Second Cocktails” program, brought to you this summer by Bacardi USA to support the USO.  Well summer’s almost over, but it’s not too late to show your support!

Now through Labor Day, we encourage you to click away and help us reach our goal.  So far, we’ve only raised about 15% of our goal of an additional $25,000, and only YOU can help us reach the ultimate goal of $100,000 being donated from Bacardi to the USO.  You can click as often as you like, share it on your own Facebook profile, and tell your friends by posting on their profiles, too!

We want to thank everyone who has shown their support with just a click this summer.  As a special treat, we wanted to bring you this video clip from 60 Second Cocktails!

Former US Marine and top mixologist, Bryan Stowe, demonstrates how to mix a BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Collins Cocktail made with BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Gin. Delicious but perfectly simple, each of the 60 Second Cocktails can be crafted in 60 seconds or less. Prep your mixers and garnishes in advance, and be ready to impress your guests.

Don’t forget to “Like” 60 Second Cocktails on Facebook to download the recipe book and to help support the troops!