Douglas J. Green Memorial Foundation (DJGMF) is a volunteer non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization that sends thoughtful and useful care packages to active service members during their deployment. Suni Chabrow, founder, created DJGMF in honor of her late son, SPC Douglas J. Green, who was killed in action during his second tour in Afghanistan.
Through DJGMF, Suni has dedicated her efforts to memorialize her son’s brief life by providing care packages for service members in distant and dangerous places. Her inspiration came from the memories of excitement and joy that a care package would bring her son.
Inspirda has partnered with City of Henderson to sponsor the fifth annual Munchies 4 the Military, a donation drive. Together, the organizations are asking for the Henderson community to help in collecting wish list donations for the DJGMF care packages, which will be mailed to actively deployed service men and women.
This is Munchies 4 the Military’s fifth year, but it’s the first time we have assembled the care packages in Henderson. The collaboration is helping raise awareness for the annual donation drive and the Foundation.
During this event, the community comes together to gather items for care packages, donate funds for shipping costs, and volunteer their time at the packing event.
We sat down with Suni to find out more about Munchies 4 The Military event, what the event means to her and the DJGMF, and how to get involved.
How did the partnership with the Inspirada and City of Henderson come to be?
The Inspirada community reached out to me. They were aware of my Foundation and wanted to get involved. Attending a care package packing event is life changing. It’s so impactful to witness the emotions of family members packing care packages to send to their loved ones and knowing you are helping those active service members feel supported, loved, and missed.
Why is it important to you to support our active service members in this way?
Our troops feel so isolated when they are deployed and opening a package that has all of their favorite things keeps their morale up and lets them know that not only their “home,” as in their family, but also their “home,” as in the U.S., are thinking about them and appreciates what they are sacrificing for us.
When they open their care packages it’s their favorite snacks, but it’s also home. It looks like home, it smells like home, and it’s important that they know home is still thinking about them. My son loved getting care packages, he lived for it. I knew I was honoring my son because he was always so grateful for the care packages and he would love that this is how his legacy is living on.
Who will be receiving the care packages collected from Munchies 4 The Military?
Deployed members from our Las Vegas valley. There is currently a rotation of 300 men and women from our community who are deployed. When one group comes back, another group is sent. One of the amazing things is that when a troop returns, many of the service members come to one of our events. They help pack care packages for the other troop that is deployed because they know how great it is to get one.
Do you have a favorite moment from a past Munchies 4 The Military event?
Oh there are so many amazing moments. One was when I videotaped a women and her three kids putting together a care package for her husband that was deployed. Families of our active service members are sacrificing too and it’s so emotional to see them making a package for their loved ones.
I also love watching little kids at care packing events because they just get it. They
understand that there are men and women over there who are fighting and protecting us here so we can keep living our lives. It’s special to me to see that.
Then there are also the seniors that have been in war who show up in their wheelchairs and are so excited to be able to help. That is really special too.
Can a family request to have a care package sent to their deployed loved one?
Absolutely! On the Douglas J. Green Memorial Foundation website you can create a customized care package. I don’t know 90% of the people who request care packages, but that doesn’t matter one bit. The Foundation collects the items, puts them together, and sends them all on our own expense. One of the best things is that troops will send thank you letters back and photos of them opening their care packages. It is so rewarding to see the smiles on their faces and know we are helping keep their moral up.
Help us reach our Inspirada and Henderson community goal of 2,000 care packages for the next Munchies 4 The Military event by donating your time and money! Donate items like chips, trail mix, and protein bars (see a full list of items requested here) to fill the care packages. Items are collected at locations throughout Inspirada and Henderson through Feb. 10. Monetary donations are also being accepted to help cover shipping costs. Volunteer your time and join us on February 10 to help assemble care packages. Simply meet at Liberty High School at 1 p.m. to participate. We hope to see you there!