Thursday, September 25, 2008
Contact: Francisco Castillo
First Lady Maria Shriver Joins Hundreds of Military Parents, Spouses and
Children in Celebration of Family Day
Shriver and Miramar’s School Liaison Program host event dubbed WE Support: Military Families, connecting Military
members and their Families with valuable resources
San Diego, CA (September 25) – As California’s Honorary Chair of Family Day 2008, First Lady Maria Shriver
joined Miramar’s School Liaison Program in hosting WE Are Family: A Military Families Parent Resource Day at the
Marine Corps Air Station Miramar (MCAS) in San Diego. This event is one of several Shriver is promoting for Family
Day, which has been proclaimed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for the week of September 22 through 26.
“Family Day is truly about what WE can do as a family to connect,” said First Lady Maria Shriver. “Today at the
Marine Corps Air Station, we are coming together as a California family to connect military families to services and
resources that meet their unique needs and challenges – from giving out phone cards to connect service men and
women with their loved ones, to free lunch, family products, fresh produce and informational resources to strengthen
and uplift our military families.”
During her visit, Shriver connected more than 300 Marine parents with a variety of support services and resources
through the partnership of more than 30 organizations who came out to support military families with resources and
products including: California Volunteers, The Women’s Conference, WE Connect, Safeway, Johnson & Johnson,
Tyson, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Hidden Harvest, Team Safe-T, Operation Gratitude, Champions for Change, Sierra
Club, First 5, United Through Reading, The Yellow Ribbon Team, Western Growers and special guest, Guy Fieri.
“Marine families, especially our children, feel the effects of our increased operational tempo due to current world
events. Maria's interest in learning about the sacrifices made and challenges faced by our families is deeply appreciated
by MCAS Miramar,” said Mrs. Janine Koffel, School Liaison Program Director, MCAS Miramar. “The resources and
information provided at the Parent Resource Fair will have an immediate and positive impact on our families. We are
happy to co-host the event in collaboration with the First Lady to provide this exciting event!”
The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University created Family Day- A Day to Eat Dinner
with Your Children™ in 2001 after its research consistently found that the more often kids eat dinner with their families
the less likely the are to smoke, drink or use drugs. As California’s Family Day Honorary Chair, Shriver is working to
encourage families to not only talk about everyday issues at the dinner table, but to also teach children healthy eating
habits, create family disaster plans and volunteer and serve as an effort to give back to their community.
Since 2004 Shriver’s WE Support: Military Families Initiative has:
Partnered through The Women’s Conference to distribute over 40,000 pre-paid phone calling cards,
enabling communication between enlisted members who are overseas and their families back at home;
In partnership with Operation Gratitude, sent thousands of care packages to service members overseas
with food, entertainment items and personal letters of appreciation, all wrapped with good wishes of love
and support;
Established a webpage in an effort to connect military families to support resources and inform
Californians on how they can donate their time or resources;
Partnered with the Bob Woodruff Family Foundation to raise public awareness about traumatic brain
injury and combat stress by working with private industry and government to develop excellence in
prevention, diagnosis, treatment, support and resources for the injured; and
Launched efforts to provide mentors and counseling support through programs such as Big Brothers/Big
Sisters at Camp Pendleton.
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