The 2021 Villa Park Adopt-a-Marine event is normally held on Thanksgiving Day. Details about the 2021 event will be added as announced.
Many of the young Marines at Camp Pendleton have young children and those kids will be homeschooled or attending virtual schooling this Fall. For those of you who have kindergarten or elementary aged children or grandchildren you know what a challenge this was this past Spring and will be again this Fall. One of their biggest challenges is having enough school supplies in the family housing to accommodate all these students. So, we have teamed up with the Armed Services YMCA (ASYMCA) on the base to help them obtain school supplies.
Some of the surplus funds leftover from last year’s event will be utilized to provide pens, pencils, crayons, markers, notebooks, folders, binders, lined paper, colored paper, etc.
You may join in this effort! Since you will not be able to adopt a Marine this Thanksgiving perhaps you will consider donating to this cause instead. You have two options:
1. Make an online donation directly to the Camp Pendleton ASYMCA at: https://www.asymca.org/camp-pendleton-donate (please note this works on a desktop but not so great on a mobile phone or ipad)
2. Purchase school supplies and drop them off in the large cardboard box on the doorstep of the Frackelton Family at 9382 Hazel Circle in Villa Park. Deadline is Friday, July 31st at 8pm. On Saturday, August 1st these supplies will be delivered to the ASYMCA in Oceanside so the Marines kids can start school the following week. If you do not feel comfortable going to a local store, feel free to buy school supplies online at Dollar Tree, Staples, Amazon, Walmart, etc. and have them delivered to the Frackelton Family at 9382 Hazel Circle in Villa Park just please make sure they arrive by July 31st. The school supplies desired include pens, pencils, crayons, markers, notebooks, folders, binders, lined paper, colored paper, etc.
Thank you in advance for supporting this cause and we will keep you posted if there is an opportunity to do more come the holidays. We are saddened our normal event won’t happen this Thanksgiving but we can take satisfaction in knowing we are helping out our beloved Marines with school supplies.
The Villa Park Adopt-a-Marine Thanksgiving is a program that hosts Marines on Thanksgiving who cannot travel home for the holiday. This program provides the opportunity for Marines to share thanksgiving with a surrogate family and for host families to open their homes up to Marines.
About the Thanksgiving Marine Event
The day begins on Thanksgiving where one member from a host family drives to Camp Pendleton via limo to pick up the Marines. Upon the arrival at the Villa Park Town Center the Marines can find a welcome sign, snacks and the Villa Park Community Band. There is a brief photo event then they are off to the host families for Thanksgiving festivities and dinner.
At the end of the day, a member of the host family and Marines take the trip back to Camp Pendleton.
The Villa Park Marine Thanksgiving annual event is supported by volunteers and The Villa Park Community Services Foundation. Additional support comes from the Villa Park Rotary and local merchants who donate items and services for the event. The founders of this event are Rick & Bonnie Barnett.
About the Camp Pendleton ASYMCA’s Adopt-a-Marine Program
The Villa Park Adopt-a-Marine program is part of the Camp Pendleton ASYMCA’s Home Hospitality program which started in 1975. Typically over 1,000 Marines are hosted by the community each year. Participating Marines are mostly from the School of Infantry who have just graduated from boot camp. However, any active-duty service member stationed on Camp Pendleton can participate in the program.
- Students must travel in pairs since they are new to the Marine Corps
- A minimum of two Marines per household
- Marines are not allowed to drive thus community members must pick them up and drop them off
- Pick-up times are usually set between 7:30 – 9:30 AM
- Return time is between 5:30 – 7:30 PM
- School of Infantry (SOI) Command does not allow times to be modified
If you’re outside Villa Park but would still like to Adopt-a-Marine call the Armed Forces YMCA at 760-385-4921.
Tips for Hosting a Marine
- Give them time to warm-up, relax and offer to let them take a nap (it’s a long day).
- Suggest they bring a change of clothing given they will be in uniform.
- Thank them for their service.
- Provide a tour of the house and location of restrooms and where to relax.
- Turn the television on in order to watch football, basketball, etc.
- Offer to let them call home and allow them privacy to make their call(s).
- Incorporate any of their Thanksgiving traditions and customs, if possible.
- Take pictures and videos, share them but get permission before posting on social media.
- Share photos and videos of past Thanksgiving dinners with Marines.
- Have food available upon their arrival since dinner may be several hours away.
- Keep in touch, connect with them on social media or get their contact information.
- Ask them if they would like to take leftovers home.
- Try to do too much like cook their favorite meals. They’re away from home and their families and they will be appreciative of a Thanksgiving Day in your home.
- Offer tobacco or alcohol products.
- Pepper them with questions and conversation all at once. Let them get acclimated and relax.
- Make the conversation about you and all of your service experience.
- Stay clear of sensitive or derogatory subjects e.g. politics.
More Holiday Events:
- Orange Tree Lighting Ceremony
- Villa Park Tree Lighting Ceremony
- Orange Park Acres Tree Lighting Ceremony
- VP Santa Tour on a Fire Truck
- Villa Park Winter Wonderland
- Villa Park Boat Parade
- Brew Ho Ho Holiday Ale Festival
- Turkey Trots in Orange County
- Turkeys on Trails 5K/10K
- Elves on Trails 5K/1/2 Marathon
- Event Calendar