Gifts for the Wounded & Their Children
Lake Travis Christmas Hope (LTCH) and the Ralph Parr River Rat Pack teamed up to secure and deliver two major gifts from Fiat Chrysler to the Warrior & Family Support Center (W&FSC) just in time for Christmas. The donations by Chrysler were secured after a two-year effort and were facilitated by the Air Warrior Courage Foundation (AWCF). The W&FSC is the major community center at San Antonio Military Medical Center (SAMMC) that supports wounded warriors and their families. The center was in dire need of a cargo vehicle to support multiple requirements.
Due to their efforts, Ram Truck brand—--on Friday, Dec. 13—--delivered a new 2014 ProMaster 2500 Series Cargo Van filled with toys, diapers and other supplies (value over $40,000) plus a $25,000 grant check from The Chrysler Foundation to support the service programs for wounded warriors and their families at the W&FSC at Fort Sam Houston. The donations were made through AWCF.
The ProMaster was resplendent in brilliant white with a very special wrap, also provided by Ram, boldly honoring the Warrior & Family Support Center with their "heart-in-hand" logo displayed alongside a truck-sized U.S. flag that readily identifies the mission of the W&FSC.
The donations were arranged by members of the Lake Travis Christmas Hope (LTCH) group working directly with key executives at Fiat Chrysler. Members of the Ralph Parr Pack and AWCF played a major role in receiving the donations on behalf of the W&FSC and handling all of the legal and technical challenges necessary to complete the transfer of the donations.
The ProMaster truck was delivered by Ram to River Rat Gary Baber at Ancira Chrysler-Jeep-Ram in San Antonio (they provided all of the local logistics for the delivery). The LTCH and Parr Pack team then drove the ProMaster (with Santa in the passenger seat) to the W&FSC for the formal handover of the vehicle and its cargo. The presentation was timed to coincide with the annual W&FSC Christmas party to make it a very special event for both the W&FSC and the many wounded warrior families in attendance. Noting the season, the Ram Brand people had even arranged for a large load of snow to be delivered to the center just before the ProMaster arrived. This resulted in one of the biggest snowball fights in south Texas history.
As part of the celebration, each child of a wounded warrior family who was at the W&FSC as the ProMaster was delivered received a very special gift bag from Ram Brand. Each bag contained a specially made Ram stuffed toy and a $50 gift card for use at Toys "R" Us™. A total of 100 $50 gift cards was donated to the children.
To understand the meaning and importance of this gift at its simplest level, you needed only to have experienced (as this writer did) one little girl sitting with her mother in front of the fireplace at the W&FSC with her gift bag. She was hugging the Ram stuffed toy and clutching the gift card tightly as she told her mother "See, I told you if you wished for something hard enough, it could happen. And it did."
Later, her mother told me that the little girl had her heart set on a toy for Christmas that was not in the family budget. Because of the combined efforts of Ram, Chrysler, LTCH, and AWCF, mom was taking her shopping the next day to get the item for which she had so intensely wished.