“Always do a little more.” – Gary Sinise
For years, we’ve followed the success of the Gary Sinise Foundation’s Snowball Express, in which hundreds of children of fallen soldiers get to visit Walt Disney World Resort around the holidays. Now, we have some great news: the Gary Sinise Foundation is opening a chapter in Central Florida within driving distance of Disney World.
The announcement of the Central Florida chapter — which makes its debut on August 15 in just a few days — provided some background information on why Florida was the ideal location for the Gary Sinise Foundation.
Since its founding in June 2011, the Gary Sinise Foundation has long maintained a presence in the state of Florida.
The footprint of programmatic support includes Snowball Express held at Walt Disney World Resort, the construction of several R.I.S.E. mortgage-free specially adapted smart homes, and First Responders grants distributed to fire and police departments. Complimentary meals continue to be provided to service members at military installations, and more recently to healthcare workers at hospitals statewide through Serving Heroes.
The Foundation also supports Florida’s veterans, service members, and Gold Star families with financial aid and other resources through its Relief and Resiliency program.
Karen Connors, chapter president, was asked how the Central Florida chapter of the Gary Sinise Foundation will address the needs of service members, veterans, first responders, and their families.
She replied, “As you know, Snowball Express at Disney is an annual event bringing together the families of fallen military for a five-day experience providing fun and beneficial resources in a stress-free environment. This really helps with the grieving process, but what about the other 360 days a year? We sense the importance of hosting community-based Snowball events and have already reached out to venues who could support this effort.”
From the looks of it, the Gary Sinise Foundation will be able to better serve local veterans, first responders, their families, and the families of fallen soldiers through the Central Florida chapter.
The chapter officially opens on August 15. You can read more about the Central Florida chapter of the Gary Sinise Foundation here. For more information on the Snowball Express or to apply, click here.