Online Originals: Over 300 gift bags given out to military mothers ahead of Mother’s Day


JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Mother’s Day is this Sunday, and an organization partnered with a local food group to give out over 300 gifts to military mothers. 

Support Military Families is a local nonprofit that deals specifically with military families. Dixon Food Group owns the McDonalds at 2401 Gum Branch Rd. in Jacksonville. Officials with both organizations said this past year has been especially tough on military spouses because of the coronavirus pandemic.  

“Mother’s Day is right around the corner,” said Candace Windham, the Marketing and Community Outreach Manager of Dixon Food Groups. “You know, they do a lot of hard work so we just want to show them a little love and appreciation, as well.”

Travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic have caused many service men and women to have longer deployments than expected. One military spouse said that events like this are a positive thing.

“It lifts the spirits,” said Joy Kitchens. “You know, when they were down about the separation and the difficult times being away from one another, just a little bit goes a long way.”  

Mother’s Day is an event that both organizations say helps celebrate and show thanks to these strong wives and mothers.

“I love the fact that we do the Support Military Spouses event because I for one am a military spouse, my husband is reserve and does full time on base,” said McDonalds employee and volunteer Kelley Ballas.

The organization gave out the over 300 gifts in a drive-through style way. The gift bags included everything from jewelry to cards of support from the community.

“I’m excited for the fact that you know, just a little token of appreciation,” said Kitchens. “It really warms the heart.”

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