WOODBRIDGE, Va., and NAPERVILLE, Ill. (12/23/14)--To honor servicemembers and their sacrifices for this country, a number of credit unions in Illinois and one in Virginia donated their time and money to lay wreaths at the gravesites of military veterans this holiday season.
Wreaths placed at the gravesites of servicemembers at the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood, Ill. (Illinois Credit Union League Photo)
Employees and family members of Belvoir FCU, Woodbridge, Va., with $313 million in assets, participated in a day coordinated by the nonprofit organization Wreaths Across America where citizens placed wreaths at various national cemeteries.
The Belvoir group set wreaths at the graves of soldiers buried in Quantico National Cemetery.
"The ceremony was touching and the displayed respect from the crowd was moving," said Tisha Wallace, chief operations officer for Belvoir FCU. "There were many silent tears for those fallen and prayers going out for those currently serving our country."
In all, the group laid more than 50 wreaths, as part of an event that included hundreds of participants who collectively laid 1,500 wreaths at the cemetery on the day.
This was the third year the credit union participated in the event. Wreaths Across America's mission is to one day place a wreath at every grave in Arlington National Cemetery and all other national cemeteries.
The Illinois Credit Union League (ICUL) also initiated a new effort this year to raise money for Wreaths Across America.
The effort proved fruitful, as nearly $3,000 was raised by Illinois credit unions to lay wreaths at veterans' graves in Illinois and Washington, D.C.
Credit unions, staff members and employees raised more than $1,900 to purchase 193 wreaths that were placed at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood, Ill., and a number of individuals representing the credit union movement in Illinois volunteered at the wreath-laying event last week.
LSC, ICUL's service organization, provided an additional $1,000 for wreaths to be placed at Arlington National Cemetery.
The coordinated effort to encourage credit unions and their members to participate in the wreath fundraising event was the first activity led by ICUL's recently formed Community Outreach Committee.
The committee was created due the strong desire by league staff members to make a difference in their communities, ICUL said.