People ask me all the time how the “Pin-Ups For Vets” calendar project came to be...
A few years ago, I started seeing news articles about under-funded Veterans’ healthcare programs. Then, there were stories about older Veterans who lay in bed day after day, never receiving any visitors. Reports started surfacing on TV about the severe injuries sustained by our troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The more I heard about the uphill battles of our Wounded Warriors, the more convinced I was of the need to produce a project that would bring in funds to support all of our hospitalized Veterans.
My late Grandpa Lou served in the army for 4 years during World War II. I wanted to do something to honor his name. I always loved the romance of those bygone eras - especially the 1940’s - and I drew inspiration from the World War II pin-up girls, whose photos and paintings boosted morale for our soldiers fighting overseas.
I came up with the idea to recreate a nostalgic pin-up calendar that would serve three purposes:
1. The calendars would be sold to raise funds for our hospitalized Veterans.
2. The calendars would be delivered as gifts to our ill and injured Veterans with messages of appreciation from the donors.
3. The calendars would be sent to our deployed troops to help boost morale and to let them know that Americans back home are thinking of them.
|Thanks to the wonderful "Pin-Ups For Vets" supporters who purchased hundreds of calendars, each of the fundraisers since 2007 have been a great success. Here's a quick re-cap:
*** I crisscrossed the
to personally deliver the donated Pin-Ups For Vets gifts to our hospitalized Veterans and recovering Troops in many VA and military hospitals.
*** I mailed hundreds of Pin-Ups For Vets gifts to our courageous deployed troops, to our honorable retired Veterans, and to supportive civilians here at home and around the world, along with personal messages of appreciation.
*** I worked with two non-profit groups to get care packages delivered to our troops in
*** Proceeds from each year are donated to VA and Military hospitals across the United States to help these hospitals expand their healthcare programs.
*** I received ten certificates of appreciation along with nine American flags that were flown by our brave military in
Iraq and Afghanistan
in honor of the work that the "Pin-Ups For Vets" project has done to support our hospitalized Vets and deployed troops.
*** Some of my favorite moments have been making the acquaintance of so many great people at the many events where I have appeared to sell the Pin-Ups For Vets items---from air shows, to car shows, to Veterans Day and Memorial Day parades.
*** In 2007, the California Jaycees Foundation and the California Junior Chamber of Commerce selected me as an “Outstanding Young Californian” for producing this project to support our Veterans and troops. In 2008, the "Pin-Ups For Vets" project received "The Daily Points of Light" Award from
Over the last two years, the fundraiser project has been covered by the media on TV and on radio, as well as in many newspapers and magazines, including our military's daily newspaper, "Stars and Stripes". In 2009, The Los Angeles Business Journal publication and its members honored me as "VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR" at their annual "Women Making A Difference" awards ceremony. This event recognizes the work of influential women in the community.
***Besides raising funds for Veterans' health care, I have tried to encourage others to volunteer at local VA Hospitals and to raise public awareness about the need to take good care of our Veterans when they become ill or sustain injuries. These men and women who have unselfishly served our country deserve the very best care we can give them !
***My personal contacts with our recovering troops and my e-mail contacts with our deployed troops have forever changed me. In the hospitals, I have seen first-hand the extraordinary courage of our returning troops who are bravely fighting to recover from serious illnesses and injuries. I have also received hundreds of letters from the troops in
who have shared their daily lives with me, and I am totally in awe of the jobs they do in such difficult and dangerous conditions.
***These past years have been full of extraordinary memories for me and I will continue to share them with you in my e-mail letters and also in the photos on my website's album, "In The Field".
Dedicated to those who serve our country...
I dedicate this year's "Pin-Ups For Vets" project to all of our ill Veterans and recovering Troops who are hospitalized in facilities all over the U.S. and overseas, to their hard-working caregivers, to our retired Veterans who have honorably served our country, to the military families who have made so many sacrifices, and finally to the courageous active duty troops who are currently serving in the United States military. I would like to also honor the four year military service of my late Grandpa Lou who served in the U.S. Army during World War II. Finally, I would like to dedicate this project to our heroic troops who have lost their lives in the service to our country and to those troops who are missing in action. We will not forget you...
A Reminder from Gina Elise. . .
Please tell your family and friends to visit my website at www.pinupsforvets.com to place an order a “Pin-Ups For Vets” item. You can use your credit card on this secure website by selecting the “Order Now” button or by mailing a check to: Pin-Ups For Vets,
P.O. Box 33 Claremont, CA 91711
Please send me a photo of yourself posing with your "Pin-Ups For Vets" item, so I can post it on my website’s “In The Field” pages. That section is my favorite part of the website because I get to see the wonderful faces of the project supporters! Thank you all for those wonderful photos and letters.
Your generous support in making your purchases here, along with your efforts to help me spread the word about this special project, will guarantee that the 2013 "Pin-Ups For Vets" fundraiser will once again be another success. I am so very honored to continue my work for our Veterans and Troops. Thank you all so very much for your generous and thoughtful support.
With much love and appreciation,