Sea to Shining Sea

This piece may not be about skydivers but it does include people with no shortage of  courage: expectant women whose husbands are deployed.  We often show our appreciation to the troops but don’t always remember the daily sacrifices their spouses make.

Thank God for LeAnn Morrissey, for she remembers.  In 2007 she founded the non-profit Operation Shower which provides joyful baby showers for military families to help ease the burden of deployment. Little did I know when I stumbled upon this organization, it would have such an impact on my life.

It started about a year and a half ago, when my friends Lana Wescott, Judi Marchand, Dana Miller and I proclaimed ourselves ’41’s First Mates’ and set out to raise $25,000. That was the amount needed for Operation Shower to shower 80 expectant moms whose husbands were deployed on the USS GEORGE H.W. BUSH (CVN-77).

Why 41 you may wonder? And why Maine and Texas you may ask? Well, it’s because those are the two states the ship’s namesake (a/k/a the 41st president of the USA) calls home. Many people from Maine and Texas attended the christening and the commissioning of the ship so feel a real connection to it.

We held many small fundraising events over the course of several months and found that people were delighted to donate. Friends in Maine knitted blueberry baby caps while friends in Texas knitted cowboy booties to go along with the traditional shower-in-a-box provided by Operation Shower which offers everything a new mom could ever need.

Set up day for the shower, entitled ‘Sea to Shining Sea’, was on September 16th at a church in Norfolk, VA. This is what it looked like when we arrived.

And this is what it looked like when we started moving boxes.

Then we started unpacking boxes.

We worked hard all day making table decorations……

arranging flowers…..

Assembling strollers

Organizing all the shower-in-a-boxes.

And unpacking dozens upon dozens of colorful bath tubs. Couldn’t help but think  these bath tubs would also make great wine coolers.

Look how beautiful the room turned out.

And how beautiful is this cake? The bear, the duck, the lighthouse….all cake. And check out the waves. Yes, I ate a bit too much of it and still, 10 months later, I am trying to work it all off. Weight does not come off as easily these days but that is for another blog post.

It never occurred to us that we would be seeing babies. But of course, some of the moms who had recently given birth, had to bring their little ones. We all loved getting a chance to hold the babies while the moms could open their gifts and enjoy that cake.

One of the best parts of the shower was the final raffle for a top- of- the- line stroller. When the winning number ’41’ was called, everyone was instructed to look at the number under their plates. Guess what? They all had the number 41! Look at the face on this mom as she discovered she was a lucky raffle winner.

Here’s a group pic of some of the beautiful moms.

The amazing LeAnn Morrissey a/k/a Chief Shower Officer,is below on the left with the talented Amy Belle Isle, Chief Event Organizer by her side, next is Judi, Lana then me with my bad hair. ( I am so tired of always being the oldest person. Yesterday, a cashier in the grocery store asked me if I wanted the senior discount! When she saw the disgust on my face she immediately started back peddling, saying it was only her first week of work. What was that supposed to mean? I hate that cashier.) Bad hair and all, I am now an Operation Shower groupie and have helped out with two showers in California and one in Connecticut.

A few days after the shower, I received an exciting email from the captain of the aircraft carrier but I am going to save that for another post.

Please check out operationshower.org for more information. That’s an order.

Advertisements

3 Responses to “Sea to Shining Sea”

  1. Anne Stoeckle Says:

    First of all, Operation Shower is amazing!! After having seen it first hand I can attest to everything Nancy says…… and Nancy, you do NOT look like a senior citizen!!!
    Anne

  2. Niece Irene Says:

    This is such a great thing you are doing! I regret not being able to get involved with the Chicago shower. Keep up the great work and the blog posts!

  3. Lana Says:

    Just re-read this. It was so fun remembering & reliving that beautiful shower in Norfolk. I’m so grateful you found OS, as it has brought me new (wonderful!) friends, and has provided me a wealth of amazing experiences! In addition to being a good friend, you are a GREAT writer!! xo

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: