Gives Program

Thank You for Your Service

Today is officially Veteran’s Day even though the federal holiday was celebrated yesterday.

What is Veteran’s Day?

“We remember those who died BUT Veterans Day is the day set aside to thank and honor ALL those who served honorably in the military – in wartime or peacetime,” It is a holiday “is largely intended to thank LIVING veterans for their service, to acknowledge their contributions to our national security, and to underscore the fact all those who served – not only those who died – have sacrificed and done their duty.”

Would you like to make a difference in the lives of our military families?

Every week, households across the country get the Sunday paper which is typically filled manufacturer coupons.  Some cut out what we can use while others simply put the entire batch in the recycling bin never to be seen again.  Did you know you could help our military families and all it would cost you would be the postage?

Recycling coupons is a GREAT way to “give back” to our military families. Military families can use current and EXPIRED (up to 3 months from the expiration date) manufacturers coupons at the BX/PX.  Such an easy way to help others who risk their lives for us every day.

I never realized how much the “small” things we take for granted are appreciated by our military families and our troops until about 14 years ago.  My best friend’s husband, Bill, was deployed to Bagram in the early days of “Operation Freedom”.

A one month deployment turned into a 6 month stint during a time when there was no family support groups – just friends and family who got Stephanie and the four kids (Jen, Sean, Ryan & Shane) through the many days and long nights.  Every penny counted and believe it or not, coupons helped. Here is a quote from her Facebook page on Veteran’s Day –

” On Veterans Day, don’t count the days or the months. Just please remember every family of every soldier – and if you don’t know what to say, just do a random act of kindness like taking out the trash for a soldier’s wife while her husband is at home. Small things mean a lot. I know.  November 11, 2012 at 8:37pm  

Today, there are many businesses saluting veterans and active-duty military personnel.  They’re offering freebies and special discounts to show their appreciation for all those who have sacrificed for their country.  Proof of service such as a military ID is typically required and a few businesses will allow dressing in uniform as a form of identification.
Check with your location to see if they are participating:

Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill: Free meal from a special menu Saturday at any of the nearly 1,800 locations.

Bob Evans: Free meal from a special menu available all day Saturday at all locations.

Bonefish Grill: Free Bang Bang Shrimp appetizer.

Buffalo Wild Wings: Free small order of traditional or boneless wings with a side of fries.

Chili’s: Free meal from a special menu.

Cracker Barrel: Free slice of Double Chocolate Fudge Coca-Cola Cake.

Dunkin’ Donuts: Free doughnut of choice, while supplies last.

Friendly’s: Free meal from a special menu at participating locations.

Little Caesars: Free Hot-N-Ready lunch combo from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

LongHorn Steakhouse: Free appetizer or dessert. Plus guests dining with veterans will receive 10% off their meals.

Muscle Maker Grill: Free meal at participating locations.

Olive Garden: Free meal from a select menu.

Outback Steakhouse: Free Bloomin’ Onion and non-alcoholic beverage.

Panera Bread: Free breakfast sandwiches until 10 a.m. Saturday at participating locations. After 10 a.m., military members get a coupon for a free pastry to use on a future visit.

Red Lobster: Free appetizer or dessert.

Red Robin: Free Red’s Tavern Double Burger with bottomless fries.

Ruby Tuesday: Free appetizer up to $10.

TGI Friday’s: Free lunch menu item up to $12 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Plus get a coupon for $5 off next meal.

Wawa: Free coffee, any size, all day Saturday for veterans, active military and family members.

Great Clips: Veterans and active duty get a free haircut on Veterans Day or pick up a free haircut card to use through Dec. 31. Also non-veterans who get a haircut Saturday get a free haircut card to give to a veteran.

Many stores offer military discounts year-round, but a handful are only on Veterans Day.

A.C. Moore: 15% off your total regular and sale price purchase with valid ID every day.

Home Depot: 10% discount.

Jo-Ann Fabric: 10% discount for military service members and their families year round.

Lowe’s: 10% discount.

Michaels: 15% discount for military families every day.

Have you served in the military?  You can get your ID card at most county office buildings with a copy of your DD214.

Do you know a vet who could use some cheering up?  I have HERO bags made up and ready to send out.  Complete the form below and I will send them out or if local, I would be happy to drop it off to bring a smile and a thank you to one of our Veterans.

 

If you should see someone from the military today – Thank them!  They don’t just sacrifice their lives on Veteran’s Day but EVERY DAY!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Hope Wissel, Relax, Reflect, Recharge

Twis The Night Before Christmas

Santa-LR

Christmas Eve day… the hustle and bustle reaches immeasurable heights as last minute shoppers make the final dash to the malls for that perfect gift.  Holiday office parties are in full swing.  Others are home preparing for family and friends to arrive – dinner cooking (is it fish? or turkey? or ham?).  Kids are eagerly counting down until Santa will arrive bringing gifts for one and all.  While still others are grabbing a quick dinner as they head to church to celebrate the real reason for the season…

For our family, the holidays have changed so much over the year.  The first change came when breast cancer took Elsie from us.  She always seemed to be the glue that brought us all together – no matter what happened all year long.

Elsie

Then Alzheimer’s took Grams from us.  Belinda grew up and headed to college – more changes.   During the first 4 years in North Carolina, she traveled home where we spent Christmas with Mom.

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Then, kidney cancer took Edythe (mom’s middle sister) from us in 2011.

When, Christmas falls on hubby’s work day, he has rotated holidays off.  This year, Rob is off because Belinda and Ashley are here!  This year we are returning to a tradition that had fallen by the wayside so many years ago…

Tonight, we will be gathered with family and extended family to celebrate the holidays together.  This year’s gathering with the Loder family has grown to include spouses and grandchildren, as well as girlfriends and their family.  Lots of food, drink and fun will be had by all.

As for Christmas Day, we will stay at home watching movies, eating, playing games – I’m sure at least one game of Rummycube or Uno will be  played. Making new memories.

As I look at our Christmas tree filled with new and old ornaments, memories of Christmas Eve’s past flash through my mind.

The many years of trying to get Belinda to go to bed so that Edythe, Elsie and I could put presents under the tree.  It was really hard carrying things past HER room to get the living room.  It always made for a lot of laughs.  Waiting patiently for mom to get off work so that we could open presents.  The early morning calls to wake everyone up.  The funny thing was – Belinda wasn’t a morning person so we always had to WAKE her up.  Really, on Christmas morning????  Opening presents was a process that took forever because Belinda wanted to play with each thing before moving on to the next gift.  We learned that games were opened last or at least towards the end or else nothing else would get opened. Great memories of days gone by…

Cherish the moments with family tonight.  Let the struggles of the year go for you never know what tomorrow will bring or if we will even be here tomorrow.   There are tears of joy, tears of sorrow for those who are no longer with us and tears of anticipation for what God has in store for me and our family over the next year.

child with present

Merry Christmas to my friends, family, Thirty One customers and hostess and all of my blog fans.  You have blessed this year in  so many ways…

Family

Wedding Day Jitters

We are praying for nice weather today – the prediction was 85 degrees with only a 10% chance of rain.  So let’s see what happens – yes, this blog was written early.  I assure you that I will be back to my usual blog posts on Monday. But today, we are going to do some celebrating:

belinda & me wedding

This is Belinda and I at hubby and my wedding in 2011.  She was my Maid of Honor and she was awesome.  Of course, she always is but I guess I am kind of partial since she is my only child.

jen's wedding

Belinda was a bridesmaid in her best friend’s wedding.  Now Jen, the bride, is Belinda’s Matron of Honor.  I can’t believe that these two have been friends since they were 3 years old.  Yes, they met at Apple Acres and the rest is history.  When they became friends, our extended family grew to include the Loder clan and I was blessed to find my best friend too.  I am so glad that Steph and Bill are going to be joining us today in North Carolina for the festivities.

belinda and ashley

Fast forward to today and the happy couple.  It is the day that my baby – okay she is 27 so she isn’t a baby – gets married.  I can’t believe that it is really here.  It seems like we have been talking about it for months.  If you know Belinda, you know that is probably not the case.  She is very easy going and seldom worries about things kind of girl.  I, on the other hand, have been trying to make everything perfect.  The truth is – it doesn’t have to be.  It is a day of celebrating and that is what we are going to do.

If you are friends with me on Facebook, I apologize already for blowing up your newsfeed with pictures….Off to enjoy the celebrations.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!