When you are invited to be the magic…do that, especially when the recipients know the gift of time better than you do.
I initially wrote about the Snowball Express in 2017. It is a magical event, and yet, it is never something you wish to be a part of. You see, the reason for being here is about that time I always talk about. But for those who participate,
All they want is time back.
The event is sponsored by The Gary Sinise Foundation and American Airlines. Every year they fly approximately 2000 Gold Star Families (Families of our Fallen) to Disney World. The families fly on 11 chartered flights, staffed entirely by volunteer pilots and crews. The trip is 5 days long and a chance for families to honor their loved ones, while cultivating relationships with people who know what it feels like to walk in their shoes.
I greeted the families in Phoenix, where planes were connecting from CA, NV, WA, and OR, but I wasn’t alone. The welcoming committee at 3AM was quite impressive. Gib Bosworth, a VP from the Sinise Foundation was in good company.
The kids had snowball fights, candy cane hunts, and games with superheroes. The parents had a break.
And there was comfort. Everywhere you turned there was someone to say: We are with you. You are not doing this on your own.