Operation Shower: Party. Support. Love – How You Can Help

Operation Shower, Scott Air Force Base, Jodi Schlosser PhotographyOperation Shower is about Love: Providing a glorious baby shower for military moms-to-be while their spouses are deployed…a shower that leaves them feeling loved. Surround them by so much goodness and light that they can’t help but feel, even though many of them do not have family close by, that they have just experienced a giant hug.

Operation Shower is about Connecting: Connect these moms with other moms who are experiencing the same ups and downs, not only of motherhood (many of them for the first time), but the special circumstances that surround becoming a mom while your spouse is away or will leave soon after your little one enters the world. What a gift it is to see how many of these women find new friendships in each other after attending a shower.

Operation Shower is about saying Thank You: The showers are intended to spoil the moms, to provide them with the baby shower they might not experience any other way, but also, as a way of saying ‘thank you’. Thank you for the sacrifice of your family, for the work here at home while your spouses are away.

Operation Shower is about offering Support:  The showers support the families not only emotionally with love and connection, but with many of the items they need as they bring a new baby in to the world….. from blankets to onesies, from strollers to cribs to surprise gifts for mom.  What a treasure for a deployed dad to know that his wife, the mother of his baby, is being loved and supported while he is away.  So many of the families visit Operation Shower’s Facebook page to share pictures when dad comes home (sometimes seeing his baby for the first time).

For a glimpse into the Love, Connection, Thanks and Support offered at each shower…take a look at this video created just weeks ago at the All Star Baby Shower  at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois. Thank you to my friends at Pounds Media for donating their time to be there and capture it all.

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Reflections from Coronado Island: Our Military, Their Service, Our Support

To know me is to know I need a little beach in my life.  It has always been ‘my place’…. where I feel centered, calm, able to set the world on its axis again.

My parents understood this, so on the last two days of my trip to California – the two days where I was finally able to unplug for a little, they brought us here, to Coronado.  If you are from San Diego, or even Southern California, you are likely familiar with the island, its beauty and its purpose.

The sand glitters like gold between your toes in stark contrast to much of the training that happens here. Coronado is home to the North Island and Naval Amphibious Bases, to aircraft carriers, naval vessels and to much of the training for the  nation’s elite Navy Seals.

As my family built sand castles and waded in the water, dolphins bobbed in the surf and not one, but THREE Naval Vessels left port and headed out to sea.  Our conversation turned to the Navy Seals – the intense training they undergo…. their commitment to our country.  I have known two Navy Seals.  My husband has known one…. his college roommate’s best friend.  We traded stories, many of them about this friend.  Though Jeff had only met this guy a handful of times, he was the kind to make an impact.

That evening as we watched the evening news, a familiar face flashed across the screen…..that same friend was one of the 31 US Troops, 22 of them Navy Seals, killed over the weekend in Afghanistan when their Chinook helicopter was shot down.  A quick search online confirmed what we didn’t want to know.  A choked call to his college roommate made tragic news unthinkable:  a Navy Seal, a father of two little boys, was also leaving behind a pregnant wife.

My heart aches for her and for all of the small people who have been robbed of a lifetime with their dads….and for the wives who will be doing it alone.  As I read the story of each soldier lost – and I did read every one of them – as I believe all of their stories should be heard over and over again – I was stuck by the irony:  each one of those men died to protect my right, my husband’s right to run on this golden sand with our small people….something they won’t be doing again.

And it is because I have such respect for the men and women of our military that I have dedicated time and energy to one of the many organizations that supports them: Operation Shower.  You have likely heard me talk about them. They provide joyous baby showers for military moms-to-be while their spouses are serving overseas.  A few months ago, I emceed one of these amazing showers at Camp LeJeune in North Carolina. It was amazing.

And just this past weekend, I attended an event hosted by Disney Baby, in honor of Operation Shower.  For every person who attended the brunch, Disney Baby donated a baby bodysuit.  As someone who has loved Operation Shower and their love and commitment to the military for years now, I can’t tell you much it means to see this type of support.

Especially now.

Those 31 soldiers aren’t coming home.  But we can do everything we can to support their families and the families of the soldiers still overseas.  You can be assured I will.

Naturally, Operation Shower isn’t your only option, but you can find them online. There is also The Wounded Warrior Project and Operation Homefront.

 

 

The First Lady and Martha Stewart join Operation Shower in celebrating Military Moms-to-Be

I stood right next to the First Lady of the United States.  I took the microphone from her and thanked her and Dr. Jill Biden for visiting the Operation Shower event.  I Introduced Martha Stewart to a roomful of beautiful, military moms-to-be.  I joked with Martha’s ‘people’ about my assumption that Ms. Stewart was likely not a hugger (I was right)….  I shook her hand and brought her to her table where she taught the art of preserving memories to these women who are about to become moms – many for the first time.

I was only feet away from Michelle Obama as she talked about her new military initiative with Jill Biden, Joining Forces.  I listened as she talked about Operation Shower, about the moms in front of her, and about the items everyone at the White House had collected for these brave women.

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Operation Shower – Red, White and Coo at Camp Lejeune

A Baby-Shower-In-A Box….

This is what LeAnn Morrissey and her friends like Amy Belle Aisle provide each time they host an Operation Shower event.

But what they are really doing is changing lives.

They are standing in front of dozens of women…. each of them, the pregnant wife of a soldier serving our military – each of them currently going through the pregnancy alone…..

With each box that they hand out, they are saying, “I care.  We care. Thank you.  Thank you for what you and your family are doing for our country.”

Tomorrow, Operation Shower will host its most spectacular event yet at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina – not simply because of the 40 moms who will be celebrated – but because of the special guests who will be in attendance.  I hate to tease you, but I must…  not only will these moms be spoiled, SPOILED with love and attention, but they are in for an event like no other….  I am over-the-moon-butterflies-in-my-stomach-excited to be emceeing the event and promise to have pictures and video as soon as I can…

EDITED TO ADD:  If the LA Times can release it…. I suppose I can too:  Attending this event?  The First Lady, Michelle Obama, Dr. Jill Biden and Martha Stewart.  And now you know….

THIS?  Will be a BUCKET list event for ME and I’m clearly not an Operation Shower recipient…. but oh…. the GIVING that is going to happen here tomorrow?  I’m giddy….and I’m grateful to be involved.

Operation Shower hosts baby showers for pregnant military wives who have a spouse serving  abroad.  They have been doing this since 2007.

Operation Give Thanks

If you have spent any time around here, you know a favorite cause of mine is Operation Shower – a non profit that provides amazing baby showers and baby-showers-in-a-box for expectant military moms-to-be…. who are, most often, experiencing their pregnancies alone while their husbands are deployed…

As a non-profit that exists almost solely based on donations,  the brilliant minds behind Operation Shower have devised a plan….  Operation Give Thanks.  Watch….

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A Star is Born – Showering Expectant Military Moms with Love

A sneak peak at the Operation Shower: A Star is Born Event happening today at Walter Reed Medical Center…..

Operation Shower provides baby showers for military ‘moms-to-be’ who have deployed (or in today’s case – injured) spouses….  Take a look:

Wordless Wednesday – Operation Shower (A Star is Born)

Wednesday, October 6th – 50 expectant military moms will be ‘showered’ at an event in their honor at Walter Reed Hospital…..  Operation Shower hosts baby showers for military ‘moms-to-be’ who have deployed spouses. These pictures are from a recent  ‘packing party’ preparing for this event: ‘A Star is Born’. (video coming in the morning) This event is put on by Operation Shower…..  I hope to have more to share after the event is over!