EVESHAM — A local organization that has stepped up to help hundreds of troops in the area and beyond could use a hand, or at least a finger.
Operation Yellow Ribbon South Jersey is one of four nonprofits in the region vying for the top spot and a grand prize of $50,000 in the Wawa Foundation Hero Award, and the public can help put it over the top with a vote online.
To cast a vote, supporters can go to the foundation’s website, thewawafoundation.org/hero-award.
The Wawa Foundation Hero Award honors a nonprofit organization that is committed to serving the Philadelphia area by assisting others and building stronger communities through preserving our independence, protecting our safety, and mentoring and inspiring youths.
This year, Operation Yellow Ribbon South Jersey, which is known for its welcome-home celebrations and sending care packages to troops deployed in the Middle East, was selected as a finalist for annual award.
“I got the chills when I heard we were a finalist,” said Dave Silver, founder and president of Operation Yellow Ribbon South Jersey. “Tears were coming out of my eyes. I couldn’t wait to tell everybody. It’s just amazing, not only to have a chance at $50,000 — but just the recognition.
“We work so hard,” he continued. “We give up our weekends, stand in the heat to collect care package items in front of supermarkets.”
In addition to sending about 50,000 pounds in care packages to the troops every year, the organization has hosted more than 200 welcome-home celebrations for service members returning from overseas.
“They’re making the sacrifice of protecting and preserving our freedom. The least we can do is send them some mail,” Silver said of the packages filled with snacks and hygiene products.
While thrilled to be considered among the best nonprofits in the region, Silver knows it will be…