Wreaths Across America, a non-profit responsible for placing commemorative garlands at the 230,000 headstones in Arlington National Cemetery, was able to reduce its wreaths deficit by more than half in one day, to 7,500, thanks in large part to donations from Breitbart News Daily listeners.
The non-profit, which gets no government funding, was facing a shortfall of 18,000 wreaths at the beginning of the day Monday.
Karen Worcester, the executive director of Wreaths Across America, came on Breitbart News Daily on Sirius XM early in the morning that day, asking listeners to donate money so that every headstone at the Arlington Cemetery could get a fresh, evergreen wreath this holiday season.
The organization’s official web site — wreathsacrossamerica.org — temporarily crashed, in part due to a high volume of people, including Breitbart News Daily listeners, going there to make donations.
“We were actually able to whittle down that deficit…as of close of business last night, we needed about 7,500 wreaths to cover Arlington,” Worcester said on the Breitbart News Daily show this morning.
The organization was able to reduce the shortfall by 75 percent from the initial deficit of 30,000 it was facing as of Nov. 27.
Each wreath is $15, so the organization still needs an estimated $112, 500 to completely cover the shortfall of 7,500.
Breitbart News Daily listeners helped reduce the wreath deficit, Worcester acknowledged during Tuesday’s show, thanking host and Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon for having her on.
Thomas Reece, a Vietnam veteran and Breitbart News Daily listener who serves as the vice president of Council Tool Operations in North Carolina, challenged American manufacturing businesses to contribute $100 to Wreaths Across America, in order to help them reach their goal of placing a wreath on every headstone at Arlington Cemetery.
Keith Darlington, a Pennsylvania resident who served in the Army and the Coast Guard, took on the challenge, telling Breitbart News he felt compelled to honor his fellow veterans.
Part of the proceeds from the sale of Breitbart News’ first-ever, limited edition Merry Christmas coffee tumbler, will also be donated to Wreaths Across America.
After the organization covers its shortfall, extra wreaths will be placed in the niches of the columbarium at Arlington Cemetery that hold the cremated remains of about 15,000 veterans.
“Any extras will go to the columbarium,” Worcester told Breitbart News Daily, adding, “I just want to make sure for those who are listening to understand that ours isn’t an effort to decorate a cemetery, our mission is to remember, honor, and teach [about the sacrifice of veterans and their families].”
On the second or third Saturday of every December — National Wreaths Across America Day — the organization organizes wreath laying ceremonies at over 1,000 veteran cemeteries and other sacred locations across the United States and on foreign soil in honor and remembrance of the nation’s fallen warriors.
The project at Arlington National Cemetery is the group’s highest volume initiative. National Wreaths Across America Day falls on December 12 this year.
The non-profit estimates that over 800,000 volunteers will place an estimated 850,000 wreaths in honor of the fallen heroes: