Veteran Nonprofit Spotlight: Wreaths Across America
In this month’s installment of our Veteran Nonprofit Spotlight, we shine a light on North Texas Wreaths Across America. Wreaths Across America’s mission is to Remember, Honor and Teach – a year-round endeavor, far beyond the single day in December when wreath-laying ceremonies are coordinated. We spoke to Larry Allen, the chapter’s Director, about the work their doing to ensure the memory of Veterans lost are never forgotten.
Describe the work your organization does and who you endeavor to help.
“North Texas Wreaths of Honor” is a nonprofit organization who found a situation that we thought needed attention. We are a group of local veterans and my high school class of 1967 who felt that our fallen veterans needed the attention they deserved.
The DFW National Cemetery has 48,000+ souls interred there. Every year for the past 12 years groups across the metroplex raised funds to place wreaths on the graves of our fallen soldiers. Last year they only raised enough money to place 24,000+ on those graves. We decided that was unacceptable, so we founded this nonprofit to try to rectify that shortage. We feel that no grave should go without a wreath.
If someone asked you about your organization, what’s the one most important aspect or takeaway you’d want them to remember?
We feel that no veteran should be forgotten. These men and women served our country with honor and sacrificed to protect our freedom. Now that they are no longer with us it’s our “duty” to remember them. We should respect the fallen and honor those who serve and their families. We can educate future generations about the sacrifice made to preserve our freedom.
What’s the single biggest ‘push’ or area of focus for your organization right now?
We need to get the word out to the DFW metroplex to achieve this goal of 48,000+ wreaths. We want each grave to have a wreath on December 14th at laying of the wreaths at the DFW National Cemetery.
It’s groups like yours and ours that have the capability and resources to share this opportunity. I am talking to everyone that will listen about our project. Anyone I pay money to for a service I hand them a card. My dentist, my barber, my insurance person, my financial planner, etc.…get a “donation” card with hope they too honor our fallen with a simple donation. Every $15.00 donation gets us closer to our goal.
What’s the biggest single need your organization has right now?
This sounds cliché but “money”. We must place our final orders to “Wreaths Across America”, the founding group who provide the wreaths to groups like us for our veterans by November 14th. This allows them enough time to produce and distribute the wreaths to the national cemeteries across the United States by Dec 13th for the Dec 14th ceremonies and laying of wreaths. Our group will be there to participate.
Spreading the word is important. The DFW Metroplex has a population of 6.8M residents. We only need 48,000 people to donate just $15. That’s less than 0.007 percent of the population.
Like the old shampoo commercial, “She told 10 people and they told 10 people and they told 10 people.” Then you saw the tv screen just populate with faces. That’s what we need. You tell 10 people and have them tell 10 people and so on. By doing that there is no reason to not get 48,000+ wreaths this year.
Many older people I talk to have that patriotic feeling that the younger generation just can’t understand. It is our duty as a nation to teach our younger generation to respect our veterans and honor those who served.
Volunteer, Donate, or Connect With North Texas Wreaths Across America
HBC was founded in early 2011 by Ryan Holloway. After serving over 8 years on active duty in the US Marine Corps, Ryan transitioned from being a full-time marine into an HR professional in early 2003. This began a journey and awoke a passion for helping companies who value their employees. After spending time working with a COBRA and FSA Administrator, an insurance company, and a large brokerage, Ryan realized that there were more unique and creative solutions for businesses than other companies were willing or able to realize. Seizing on his own entrepreneurial spirit, Ryan set out to found an independent agency designed to provide unique and original insurance solutions. To learn more about HBC, visit https://hollowaybenefitconcepts.com/