With the holiday season upon us, once again comes the opportunity to participate in several programs we organize as the year comes to a close. Some of them celebrate and honor veterans and soldiers, and our annual holiday memorial program aims to help give those who have suffered a loss the chance to learn to cope with grief during the holidays.
For the last two years in celebration of Veterans Day in November, we have sponsored the program “Sweaters for Veterans”. Due to some Veteran’s homes and hospitals no longer being able to accept used clothing, we have expanded and modified the program to gather a wider variety of items needed by veterans. Personal hygiene items such as shampoo, deodorant and body wash, puzzle books, snack items, coffee, postage stamps and long distance calling cards are just a few examples of items needed by veterans living in veteran’s homes and visiting veteran’s hospitals and care centers. Throughout the month of November, we will be collecting items to deliver to VA hospitals, VA homes and veterans service organizations in time for the holidays. Donations may be brought to DeJong-Greaves Celebration of Life Centers business office at 917 Blondeau Street in Keokuk. A complete list of suggested items often needed is available at the office or via our website (www.dejongsfuneralhome.com). Everyone in the community is invited to support our veterans by donating.
A program we are proud to once again be part of is Wreaths Across America as we will again be an official sponsorship location. KOKX Studios has made it possible to sponsor a wreath to be placed on a veteran’s grave in the Keokuk National Cemetery for many years. We later joined their efforts to be a sponsorship location for a veteran’s grave located in any local cemetery. Both facilities are continuing their participation this year.
The importance of honoring each fallen serviceman/woman as an individual is stressed. The national wreath laying service will be held on Saturday, December 13, which was unanimously voted by the US Congress as “Wreaths Across America™ Day”. Everyone is welcome to attend the local service held at Keokuk National Cemetery on December 13th at 11:00 AM. By offering sponsorships to the public, Wreaths Across America hopes that one day every veteran’s resting place will be adorned with a wreath for the holiday season.
You may honor a veteran buried at any local cemetery by sponsoring a $15 Wreath to adorn their grave. Orders may be placed at our business office. Additional wreaths for veterans buried in Keokuk National Cemetery may be ordered through KOKX by submitting payment at KSB Bank to Wreaths Across America, and bringing the receipt to KOKX offices at 108 Washington in Keokuk to complete the order. Orders may be placed now through Monday, November 24th .
Even if you are not able to sponsor a wreath, we encourage everyone to join us at the wreath laying ceremony on December 13th to help us honor our fallen veterans.
On Sunday, December 14, 2014, we will host our annual holiday program “Holiday Remembrances: A Celebration of Love”. This program is designed to help those who have lost someone cope during the holiday season and remember their loved ones in a meaningful way.
Included in the program will be a reading of the names of the loved ones whose families our funeral home has had the privilege of serving in the past year. Anyone may request additional names to be included in the remembrance service.
As always, this program is open to the public and everyone is welcome to attend. We hope to provide those that have lost someone they love some comfort and strength during the holiday season. We know the profound grief that can be felt after someone dies and how it can be particularly difficult at Christmas time and therefore strive to provide a sincere ceremony that acknowledges the loss and honors your loved ones.
The program will be held at our 917 Blondeau Street location at 2:00 PM.
Additionally, we are working to set up a new program that will help soldiers serving overseas and their families back home this December. We hope to have plans finalized and more information to give you soon.
If you have any questions or would like additional information on any of our upcoming programs, or have a lost loved one you would like to have included in our Holiday Remembrance program, please let us know.
DeJong-Greaves Celebration of Life Centers
Dirk and Terry DeJong, Evan Printy, Sonia Richardson and Laura DeJong