I grew up in a patriotic home. Thanks to my mom, I had memorized all the words to Lee Greenwood’s song “Proud to be an American” by the time I was six. I’ve always had a tremendous amount of respect for the men and women who serve our country, especially our local families. If it weren’t for the Camp Pendleton, I may have never met my husband, since that’s what brought him to San Diego sixteen years ago.
One day while doing some online research for my pregnancy podcast, Preggie Pals, I discovered a non-profit organization called Operation Shower. Their mission is to provide joyful baby showers for military families to ease the stresses of deployment. I instantly fell in love with their efforts, and later interviewed them for an episode we released on planning the perfect baby shower. But, I wanted to do more to help.
A couple months ago, I received an email from Amy Belle Isle, the Chief Event Planner for Operation Shower, who was looking for volunteers for their upcoming event for military moms in San Diego. I jumped at the chance. Typically, local volunteers are needed to prep the day before the event as well as assist during the actual shower. I decided to help prepare the day before the event, so I’d have some extra time to meet with Amy and the amazing volunteers who make Operation Shower possible.
The shower was held at Torrey Pines during the PGA Tour’s 2013 Farmers Insurance Open. As you can imagine, security is pretty tight when you’re dealing with PGA stars such as Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods. Luckily, I had received a special parking pass in advance and made it through security without any questions. Once inside, the volunteers and I began organizing everything to prepare the room for decoration the next day. A big part of this process is organizing Operation Shower’s signature “Shower in a Box”. These boxes are filled with high quality items you might find on a baby registry such as a diaper bag, crib sheets and toys. We prepared 40 boxes, one for each mom-to-be whose spouses are deployed members of the U.S. Navy SEALs, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marines and California Army National Guard. I was simply amazed by the generosity of all the companies who gladly donated items for this special event.
To help commemorate my experience, I shot this behind-the-scenes video– featuring an interview with Amy Belle Isle.
After a couple hours, we had completed our mission. We had successfully unpacked all the shipping boxes and organized each “Shower in a Box”. After saying goodbye to all the volunteers, I headed back to my car. It felt good knowing 40 military moms were about to be blessed with an amazing day, and that I had a small part in making that happen.
There are many ways you can help support Operation Shower such as volunteering, making a monetary donation, becoming a corporate sponsor or donating items for the “Shower in a Box”. For more information, visit the contact page on the Operation Shower website. To see photos and read about Operation Shower’s San Diego baby shower, visit the Operation Shower Blog.