Welcome to November!
A year ago, the folks at Fifth Third Bank asked me to join other media personalities and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel for a special Veteran's Day event at Chicago Union Station honoring our area veterans and military families.
They were also celebrating their busy year raising money for the Folds of Honor Foundation, the nonprofit providing educational scholarships for families of soldiers wounded or killed in the line of duty.
But what kept us the most busy that day was the line of hard-working hands assembling 530 care packages that went to local troops serving in Afghanistan.
This year, Fifth Third Bank is bringing this same wonderful opportunity to our Region.
Starting at 8 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 12, at the Fifth Third Bank at 56 S. Washington St. in downtown Valparaiso, I'll join other volunteers for the bank's annual "Veterans Appreciation Campaign" for 2012, with employees from Fifth Third Bank of Northwest Indiana spending the day assembling another 530 care packages that will be sent to troops from our area now serving in Afghanistan.
In the month preceding Veterans Day, employees have been collecting donations and raising funds for educational scholarships for family members of wounded or killed soldiers. Employees have also given time volunteering at area veterans' homes, organizations and VA hospitals.
The month-long effort now leads up to this Nov. 12 Veterans Day Appreciation Event assembling the 530 care packages from 8 a.m. to noon.
Fifth Third Bank has asked me to invite Northwest Indiana residents to submit the names and addresses of local servicemen and women serving overseas to receive one of these care packages.
Here's all you need to do: Send the request by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, including the military person's name, branch and military base (usually an FPO or APO address). I'm told readers have JUST ONE week to submit names, which means the deadline ends at noon on Thursday, Nov. 8th, for you to respond.
"Every single person who lives in the United States benefits from the hard work, commitment and sacrifice of our nation's soldiers," said Craig Pratt, senior executive, Fifth Third Bank (Northern Indiana), who helped with the launch of our region's Fifth Third banking properties, and is both a NWI resident and also a military veteran.
"We're excited to invite the community to join us in demonstrating our gratitude to those who serve in the military through our fundraising campaign and related events."
Fifth Third Bancorp is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Company has $118 billion in assets and operates 15 affiliates with 1,320 full-service Banking Centers, including 104 Bank Mart locations open seven days a week inside select grocery stores and 2,405 ATMs in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Georgia and North Carolina.