Following last week’s launch of “Joining Forces,” first lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden hit the road together to support the military community. Sierra Club was invited to help celebrate military children and families at an event with Michelle Obama, Jill Biden, the USO, Sesame Street and Nick Jonas (of the Jonas Brothers) at a community event in Columbus, Ohio.
The event was held at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium and was filled with excited kids waiving Elmo glow sticks in the air as they anxiously awaited the opening act. Nick Jonas started us off with a few popular songs and then Elmo took the stage. Grover, Cookie Monster and others from Sesame Street joined Elmo for a few songs. But the star of the show was the new character, Katie, a military child who was coping with the upcoming move her family was planning. The Sesame Street characters reminded Katie of all the ways they would be able to stay in touch and reassured her of all the new friends she would make on her next adventure. Sesame Street and the USO will be touring the world with a show designed for the military community.
The kids were also thrilled to hear the remarks of Michelle Obama and Jill Biden. They stormed the stage to get a closer look as the first and second ladies thanked them for the sacrifices they make every day when their families are asked to move or when a parent deploys.
Sierra Club, and our thirty-five guests were pleased to be able to ‘join forces’ with the first and second ladies, the USO, Sesame Street and Nick Jonas to show our support for military families. Colleagues, friends and families of the Sierra Club Ohio chapter participated in the event. We were also honored to be able to include a Wounded Warrior and his family among our delegation.
Just last week, The Sierra Club Foundation announced major grants to YMCA of the USA and the National Military Family Association. The funding will allow thousands of military children and families to experience the healing powers of nature by attending camp as part of Sierra Club’s Military Families Outdoors initiative.
--by Jacqueline Ostfeld, Sierra Club's National Youth Representative