HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — Blue Star Mothers of Coastal Carolina is looking for donations to fund the annual Wreaths Across America Program.
Last year, the organization was only able to cover about one-third of the Florence National Cemetery because of the pandemic. The group placed wreaths on every third grave, and now they are asking for your help to increase that number this year.
Sharon Russell, the financial secretary of Blue Star Mothers of Coastal Carolina, can relate to military families. With a son in the Marines and a daughter in the Navy, honoring these veterans is just one way she pays it forward.
“I place a wreath, I take a picture and I send it to the families, and it’s just, it means so much to them,” Russell said.
For 11 years, Blue Star Mothers has participated in Wreaths Across America; a day in which fallen veterans are honored by placing wreaths on their gravestones. As a registered sponsor for the Florence National Cemetery, with every two wreaths purchased, they get a third for free.
“It means so much to the families that people out in the rest of the world care about the service that their veterans paid for our country,” Russell said.
In 2019, the organization was able to cover almost the entire Florence National Cemetery with wreaths. Last year, the COVID-19 pandemic placed a setback on fundraising but the group still managed to cover one-third of the cemetery.
“Trying to choose whose grave gets a wreath is not a decision I would really like to make,” Russell said. “I would rather have everybody out there be honored for their service, and the families.”
This year, Blue Star Mothers is asking for your help to increase last year’s number. With the rising number in veteran deaths, many being from COVID-19, their goal is to place as many wreaths as possible.
“The motto of Wreaths Across America is to remember the fallen, honor those who serve and teach our younger generations literally that freedom is not free,” Russell said.
Last year, they were not able to hold a public ceremony at the cemetery because of COVID-19. This year, they’re more hopeful they will get to hold one, and that’s scheduled for Dec. 18, Russell said.
If you would like to sponsor a wreath, you can visit www.WreathsAcrossAmerica.org, or contact Sharon Russell at email@example.com for more information.