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First lady visits Project EverGreen

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Obama spoke with organizations supporting military families.

| March 22, 2012

NEW PRAGUE, Minn. – Project EverGreen was on the frontlines of a recent roundtable discussion with first lady Michelle Obama about how communities can better support military families in the United States.

The organization’s GreenCare for Troops program was invited to participate in a discussion with the first lady March 16 in the Twin Cities along with a handful of other programs that benefit families of service members.

The roundtable was part of the White House’s Joining Forces initiative. Led by Obama, the program is designed to recognize organizations and communities dedicated to supporting military families throughout the country. The meeting also sought to share ideas and experiences for existing programs to be expanded and for new programs to be developed.

“You are doing me a favor educating me and educating the nation,” Obama told organization and military family representatives, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “A lot of times America just doesn’t understand the struggles. We take it for granted because you all handle and shoulder the burden so well.”

GreenCare for Troops matches lawn and landscape contractors or local volunteers to provide free landscaping and lawn care for area military families with a loved one currently deployed with the military. The program is underwritten by Cub Cadet.

Joy Westenberg, program manager for GreenCare for Troops, attended the event. She said small acts of kindness – as simple as mowing a military family’s lawn – go a long way to showing support for community members making an enormous sacrifice for the country.

“Our military families have bigger things to worry about than the condition of their lawn,” Westenberg said. “Knowing those chores are being taken care of allows the family to push through a stressful and difficult time. A well-maintained lawn also provides families with a tranquil area to unwind and relax.”

SnowCare for Troops, a sister program to GreenCare for Troops underwritten by BOSS Snowplow, was also discussed with Obama.

Project EverGreen will also participate in an April 11 White House ceremony recognizing GreenCare for Troops and the 19 other finalists in the Joining Forces Challenge.
In its five years in operation, Project EverGreen’s GreenCare for Troops has served thousands of military families with free lawn care and landscape services across the entire country. There is still a need for volunteers as currently more than 10,000 military families have signed up to receive services from GreenCare for Troops. More than 4,000 volunteers are registered to provide services, but more volunteers, labor and materials are needed.

Volunteers wishing to register for the program can sign up here. Military families with a member currently deployed in the military needing lawn services can sign up here.


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