DAR Members Support Active Military Families with ‘Rucksacks to Backpacks’ Program

Rucksacks to BackpacksSubmitted Image

LANCASTER, PA — Jeptha Abbott Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) members Michelle Bradley, Wayne; Teri Fischer, Stone Harbor, NJ; Karen Franks Zetterberg, Bryn Mawr; Leila, Lisa, and Virginia Gresh, Paoli; and Linda Hawley, Wayne, attended the 126th Annual Pennsylvania DAR State Conference held last weekend in Lancaster by more than 400 people.  Pennsylvania State Regent Marguerite Fritsch presided over the conference. Her state theme is “Love of Service to God, Home, and Country.”

As part of the three-day conference, members attended a National Defense luncheon supporting the work of the United Service Organizations (USO), which provides comfort care and a feeling of “home away from home” for our country’s armed forces. Attendees were asked to bring lunchboxes for children of active military families and to participate in “Rucksacks to Backpacks,”  a program that helps active veterans by providing essential school supplies to their children. In addition, a “Missing Man Table” reminded attendees of fallen, missing, or imprisoned U.S. Military Service members. More than 420 backpacks and 130 lunchboxes were donated and loaded onto USO trucks by military and DAR members so they could be distributed to the appropriate in-need families.

There were also several awards and certificates presented at the conference. The entire Jeptha Abbott Chapter was recognized with a certificate for surpassing its service hours for the year. The chapter had a goal of 6,240 hours, or 30 hours per member, for the year 2022. The chapter exceeded its goal by 22% — logging 7,663 hours for the year.

In addition, Jeptha Abbott DAR won the Junior Bowl Award. This is an honor given to a chapter that does an exceptional job promoting and mentoring Juniors (members aged 36 and younger). They see extreme value in sharing their wealth of DAR knowledge with Juniors as a way to cultivate the future of the Society — helping them to grow in their leadership skills.

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And, lastly, Jeptha Abbott member Lisa Gresh, PA State Chair, Children of the American Revolution (C.A.R), won the Master Gardener Award from the Juniors for her active interest in caring for Juniors in her chapter and across the state. A Master Gardener is enthusiastic about DAR and finds ways to make Junior Members feel included and valued.

The 2023 Conference Chair was Barbara Bechtel Cross. Honored guests included Rebecca Kline, State Regent of Kansas; Carolyn Nutt, State Regent of Massachusetts; Laurie Nesbitt, State Regent of Virginia; and Lynne Stallcop, National Chair, Conservation, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR).

The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) is a women’s service organization whose members can trace their lineage to an individual who contributed to securing American independence during the Revolutionary War. Today’s DAR is dynamic and diverse, with over 185,000 members in 3,000 chapters in the United States and abroad. DAR members annually provide millions of hours of volunteer service to their local communities across the country and the world. In addition, DAR chapters participate in projects to promote historic preservation, education, and patriotism. Over one million members have joined the organization since its founding in 1890. Go to www.dar.org.

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