Once again, more Military Tribute Banners are being added to downtown Washington Court House courtesy of the local chapter, “Hearts Hands Home,” of the national organization, “Blue Star Mothers of America.”
The local chapter, Hearts Hands Home, began in July of 2019. The chapter started the banners project last year.
As previously reported, the banners are planned to be hung in downtown from April to November each year. Hearts Hands Home covers the cost of the banners as well as the cost of cleaning and storing them. There is no cost to the city although the service department helps with hanging the banners.
There will be a dedication ceremony on Sunday, July 4 at the Court House at 2 p.m. The purpose of the ceremony is to recognize those who have banners on display for the first time. Family members are encouraged to attend and the entire community is welcome to attend, explained president of the chapter, Mindy Wilson, via email.
“This year we have already put 18 new banners up on display joining the 27 banners from last year. We have approximately 10 more banners scheduled for delivery next week,” wrote Wilson. “They may not be put up by July 4th as our city employees have been very busy with road repairs and other beautification projects.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the chapter has been unable to raise money for the community banner project, according to Wilson. This has led to a more limited budget than last year. Going forward, new banners will be created as the chapter’s limited budget allows.
“We didn’t guarantee that submitted photos would be selected to be put up this year. However, we are continuing this project and feel sure that all photos will be generated for a banner at some point. If someone has donated money and submitted a picture, and that picture has not been selected as of yet, and they wish to have their money refunded, they can contact us and we will make the arrangements to do so,” explained Wilson.
While information and a military photo can be submitted at no cost, due to a waiting list and the limited budget, those who want quicker and guaranteed banner creation are able to pay a set cost with the information and photo to have the banner created.
“If anyone is interested in purchasing a Banner for guaranteed printing and delivery, the entire cost has been reduced, and the full purchase price is $130 — that includes the banner, the bracket and cost of shipping,” wrote Wilson. “Otherwise, we are all still relying on the good-heartedness of our local businesses, our veteran affiliates such as the VFW, the American Legion, the Elks, the Fraternal Order of Eagles and several private individuals who have donated money for the 2020 banners.”
Wilson gave a “special thanks” to Shannon Sword, Doug Lindsey and Ron Sockman for taking the time to help get the banners up.
Hearts Hands Home also sends care packages across seas. Community members with loved ones they wish to have packages sent to are encouraged to send names and addresses to the chapter. Donations for care packages can also be accepted.
Blue Star Mothers of America is a non-profit, and according to its website, www.bluestarmothers.org, the organization consists of “mothers, stepmothers, grandmothers, foster mothers and female legal guardians who have children serving in the military, guard or reserves, or children who are veterans. We support each other and our children while promoting patriotism.”
Hearts Hands Home (the local chapter) services Fayette County and the surrounding area. Sisters, brothers and fathers of military members are welcome to join the local chapter as associate members. Dues for members are $30 upon joining, then once every June.
Contact the chapter at [email protected]
Reach journalist Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355.