Joining Forces with Michelle Obama and Jill Biden for Military Mother’s Care
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"