Vera Bradley at Roosevelt Field Mall will be joining all district locations in the company’s second annual Veteran’s Day Weekend partnership with Full Circle Home (FCH), a nonprofit organization dedicated to connecting deployed service members with their loved ones.
From Saturday, Nov. 10, through Monday, Nov. 12, customers will be given the opportunity to purchase and donate a zip ID case. This ID case will make its way to military bases and hospitals through FCH, where volunteers will assist soldiers in writing a heartfelt, handwritten note to a family member of their choosing. This note will be placed inside the ID case and, after being packaged alongside tissues and other donated gifts, will be mailed to loved ones across the country to be received during the holiday season or on Mother’s Day.
In return for their generosity, participating customers will receive 15 percent off of their entire Vera Bradley purchase.
Roosevelt Field store manager Pat Brady said that it is FCH’s powerful intentions and universal appeal that resulted in a successful first partnership last year.
“You’d be surprised as to how many people walk through the door that you don’t realize their connection to the cause,” said Brady. “Even with past military. Vietnam veterans all have children and grandchildren now who remember receiving these letters at one point in their life. It keeps that connection strong between the family and the soldier, and that’s really important.”
The organization was introduced to Vera Bradley by Eastview store manager Donna DiPuccio, a mother of two sons in the service, who admired the group’s mission.
“Taking the sweet and tender love notes that are coming from husbands, brothers, sons and boyfriends and putting it in as something as iconic as a Vera Bradley zip ID just makes perfect sense,” said DiPuccio. “It’s something these women can treasure. It’s in their handbag so they see it all the time. I’ve had my son’s first note that he sent me from Iraq folded in my wallet for the last 10 years.”
FCH was founded by Vickie Durfee, a military mom from Rochester striving to bridge the gap between America’s heroes deployed overseas and their own heroes back home through handwritten love notes and holiday gift boxes. Based out of Henrietta, NY, the organization has been recognized twice by Joining Forces, the Obama Administration’s initiative to strengthen military families nationwide.
“It’s a group that just touches your heart,” said Brady. “This one donation is just a small way that you can give back, but it’s got the biggest impact. The impact of this little note would brighten anyone’s day.”
Since 2007, the group has sent out over 20,500 notes and gift boxes from deployed service members to their loved ones all over the world.
Though the Veteran’s Day partnership will only run through the end of the holiday weekend, Brady hopes that this is not the last time Vera Bradley will celebrate FCH’s cause. She notes that she would like the store to partner with FCH again in the spring, around Mother’s Day.
“Our full intention is to grow this organization,” said Brady. “It started with just one store, and now it has spread throughout the whole district, and I hope that eventually it’ll be in all of our stores.”