Gary Sinise is a man that needs no introduction. Everyone knows him as a notable actor and a philanthropist. He once again showed his good heart by sponsoring 1,750 families of fallen military veterans to an all-expense paid to the most magical place on Earth, Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.
Sinise’s goal is to ‘serve our nation by honoring our defenders, veterans, first responders, their families, and those in need’ through his foundation, the Gary Sinise Foundation. He founded it in 2011 and has built different programs that aim to entertain, educate, inspire, strengthen, and build communities. One of the programs under the said foundation is Snowball Express – it is a year-long initiative of the foundation that provides support to the children, families, and surviving guardians of the fallen military heroes by providing free trips for them.
The Sinise Foundation explained on its website: “The holidays can be especially challenging for grieving families. Each December, we host a five-day experience for 1,750+ children of the fallen and their surviving parent or guardian. As a therapeutic retreat with a blend of fun and inspiring programs, these families can lean on their peers for support.”
Through the Snowball Express together with American Airlines, they were able to fly the families to safety using 14 different aircraft. Almost 1,000 American Airlines team members volunteered to make the experience a memorable one for the families of our modern heroes.
Not only do the families have a lot of fun. They were also given a chance to honor their family members who died during the battle. Each of them wore a “We remember” pin and 600 flags were lined up to represent each of their loved ones.
May we have more people like Gary Sinise in this world. The kindness he has shown to the families of the veterans is surely heartwarming. We can clearly see the happiness in the faces of the kids he has sponsored. He has given so much more than enjoyment to these families, he also gave them the opportunity to have someone to talk to, and a shoulder to cry on – someone that understands exactly what they’re going through.