Every year, when it comes close to Christmas, the Gary Sinise Foundation hosts a five-day break for 1,000+ children of fallen soldiers and their surviving parent or guardian, and this year is no exception.
On Saturday, Dec. 7, about 1,700 family members from across the country were flown to Orlando aboard the “Snowball Express” to enjoy a 5-day stay at Disney World, an early Christmas gift from actor Gary Sinise, Fox News reported.
The Gary Sinise Foundation partners with American Airlines to provide free vacations to families from across the United States each December.
Sinise spent time to share the happy moment with Snowball Express families. Families participating are treated to a visit from Santa Claus and lots of other activities to make the experience one they will never forget.
Photos from his Twitter account showed hundreds of children enjoying Walt Disney World.
This charter left Los Angeles this morning with 91 kids, 176 in all, and I got to take these photos with them before they left. I’ll join up in a few days. Have fun kids! We love you! pic.twitter.com/jPRuZ0iuIp
— Gary Sinise (@GarySinise) December 7, 2019
Sinise signed up to support the Snowball Express in 2007, a charity founded the previous year that wanted to focus on healing and to help the children of the fallen heroes. That year he performed for the children with his Lt. Dan Band.
Then, in 2011, the actor founded the Gary Sinise Foundation—of which the Snowball Express became a part in 2017.
“They’re dealing with the grief and the loss of a loved one, a mom or a dad who have died in military service, and all these kids are going through the same thing, so the power of all of them in the same place at the same time, many of them—hundreds of them—was very healing for a lot of them,” Sinise said.
Last year, at the 2018 Snowball Express trip, more than 14 aircraft were needed to safely transport over 1,700 children of the 600+ families to Disney World in Orlando, Florida.