Joining Forces with Michelle Obama and Jill Biden for Military Mother’s Care Packages
In an assembly line formed by our President's and Vice-President's wives, together with congressional spouses, hundreds of Mother's Day gifts have been packaged and sent to military mothers across the country.
WASHINGTON D.C. – MAY 10 – The Burpee Company today joined with First Lady Michelle Obama, Dr. Jill Biden and congressional spouses to help provide Mother’s Day care packages that deployed troops have requested to be sent to their mothers and wives at home. The packages were initially created by the USO and Full Circle Home, an organization started by Vickie Durfee when her son was deployed to Iraq and asked her to help him send a gift to his girlfriend at Christmas. The Burpee Company is proud to join this effort and provide military mothers with W. Atlee Burpee and Co.’s Welcome Home Garden seed packets. The project, undertaken this winter and to be continued for the next two planting seasons, has already given 50,000 military families a pouch containing 10 seed packets, two of flowers and eight of vegetables. Burpee will distribute another 100,000 pouches in the next two years.
This project, initiated by George Ball, Burpee's CEO, and a longtime friend, Miryana Navarro-Monzo, was created as a healing tool for our recently returned troops from the wars in Iran and Afghanistan. In the process of its distribution and the responses from the military families, it became apparent that these gardens have also become an expression of hope.
Burpee is proud to be part of Michelle Obama and Jill Biden's Joining Forces initiative to recognize, honor and serve our military families and is proud of and thankful to the partnerships formed throughout the country for the distribution and help in planting the gardens. Burpee's invaluable partners in this endeavor include the United States Department of Agriculture, which has used its effective network of university extension programs and the National Program for Military Child and Youth Division and the 4-H. The U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Army are participating by distributing the gardens at their installations. The American Heart Association, through their Teaching Gardens program at Camp Pendelton in California and the Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii, is planting the gardens at the homes of the children of those deployed to war. Veterans organizations, such as Able Forces of Virginia, (with the assistance of the Virginia Federation of Garden Clubs), Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, of New York, Farmer/Veteran Coalition in California, Veterans Green Jobs of Colorado and Veterans Workshop in Tennessee are all holding events in their states, with 32 states, plus Guam, participating.
"We are overjoyed with the response by so many organizations who agreed to partner with us on this worthwhile project,” says Mr. Ball. “And we are also please that USDA has included into these gifts a card reproducing the cover of our 1888 Burpee Farm Manual to the gift boxes, since our company has been part of the history of our country for all these many years"