First Thanksgiving Away From Home
For many of these young people it is their first Thanksgiving away from home. Most of these young Marines graduated from high school just this past June and have not enjoyed a home-cooked meal in over 5 months. This is something very special that we can give back to these service men who give so much of themselves to us and our country.
How It Works
For the hosting families, Thanksgiving day starts off early at the Villa Park Town Center (Ralph's), where complimentary coffee and pastries are provided. Immediately following the refreshments, a member of each hosting family gets into a limousine for the ride to Camp Pendleton to pick up our guests. Upon returning to the Villa Park Town Center and following a brief photo event, each family brings their guests home for Thanksgiving day and dinner festivities.
Funded by Your Generosity
In addition to the limousine ride, each Marine receives a memorable gift during the drive from Camp Pendleton to Villa Park. This is something they can keep for many years to come to remember this special day. The transportation cost coupled with the gift requires the need for a donation for each Marine adopted. Please note that each host family must adopt at least TWO marines. The donations are payable directly to the Villa Park Community Services Foundation who handles all the finances of this special day.
A Memory of a Lifetime
At the end of the day the young Marines and a member from each family returns to the Villa Park Town Center for the limo ride back to the base. On the return ride, neighbors and new friends say goodbye and share stories amongst themselves. This event is a great opportunity to share our homes, celebrations, and grateful appreciation with the Marines who serve our country every day.
Special thanks to Villa Park’s Dunkin Donuts for sponsoring early morning coffee and treats to our Host Families on Thanksgiving morning