I am sure you are aware; that this weekend is Memorial Day weekend, and while many of us will be celebrating with BBQ, boats, or beaches, I think it is important to take a moment to reflect on the reason for Memorial Day, which may surprise you a bit.
Initially, Memorial Day began to honor those who died in the Civil War, but of course, it has become a day to honor all American veterans who gave their lives in sacrifice for our nation. In my research, I also found a site that gave five things you should NOT do on Memorial Day:
Being this close to JBLM, there are a lot of local nonprofits that support our troops, one such nonprofit is Combat Veterans International. The mission of Combat Veterans is to support all veterans, especially combat veterans, regardless of race, religion, age, sex, or country of origin as well as to fit into the areas where we live: According to Tim “Train” Lutz, Vice-President of Chapter 12 in Olympia, “we are a non-confrontational/non-territorial motorcycle organization, showing respect for all humankind. And we proudly ride in honor and respect of all Prisoners of War, Missing in Action, and those brothers and sisters who were killed in combat supporting our country, in past, present, and future military actions”.
Combat Veterans International (CVI) was created on March 3, 1998, by a core group of 5 veterans, with a common interest in motorcycles and in helping other veterans in their community. Originating in Ferndale, Washington, the organization has grown and branched out. As a nonprofit organization, CVI members contribute their time, energy, and money to their communities by serving as Fallen Warrior Escorts, Unclaimed Veteran Escorts, participating in Wreaths Across America, as well as community fundraising, providing scholarships for Military/Veteran Families, conducting food and clothing drives, computer donations, and sobriety support. According to Joe “Six Pack” Beers, the current President of CVI Chapter 12 in Olympia, “we support all veterans, especially combat veterans, to the best of our ability”. CVI membership is open to all combat veterans, regardless of service or country of origin who are interested in serving their communities and having a fellowship of motorcycle enthusiasts. CVI Chapter 12 in Olympia holds a monthly meeting at the VFW on Martin Way E. Go to CVI Chapter 12 for more details.
The updated and revitalized Bigelow House Museum opened for visitors two Sundays ago in honor of Mother’s Day. Regular tours will resume in June on the first two Sundays of every month. Visitors will be able to visit both the upstairs and downstairs of the house as well as new displays and decor.
If you know of a nonprofit that is doing something great, celebrating a success, needs some outstanding volunteers, or hosting an event, let me know! This column (aside from a little education) celebrates nonprofits!
Mary Beth Harrington, CVA (Certified Volunteer Administrator) lives in Tumwater. She travels the country speaking at conferences and to individual organizations articulating issues facing nonprofits. Send your ideas to her at MaryBeth@theJOLTnews.com
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