We have a special holiday interview today, all about a Zazzle store with a cause! We’re talking with Scott deMasi of Wreaths Across America-Houston about how he was inspired to bring this national effort of honoring our fallen veterans with holiday wreaths to his own town – and how their Zazzle store has helped out this cause.
Tell us about Wreaths Across America-Houston! How did it get started?
About 7 years ago my son (6 years old at the time) and I were looking at a video online about how they do this wreath project at Arlington National Cemetery. On a specific Saturday in December, there is a wreath laying ceremony to honor our fallen veterans. The video made it sound like they do this all over and you just needed to purchase your wreath. We did, right then. I immediately called the cemetery to see when we would place the wreaths and they stated that they didn’t do that here in Houston, citing funding and volunteers. I explained it to my son and with 6-year-old logic he states, “That’s not fair! It’s not fair that they get wreaths and our soldiers don’t.” I explained again and we moved on. Later in the day he asked something that I’ll never forget: “What can one person do?” I explained about several individuals that changed the world, like Ben Franklin and Thomas Edison. He replied, “Then let’s go get some wreaths.”
With that, Wreaths Across America-Houston was born. There was already an annual ceremony being held by the Civil Air Patrol but no real focus on the wreath laying.
What is the mission behind Wreaths Across America?
The National mission is to Remember, Honor and Teach: Remember those that have gone before. Honor our current veterans. And Teach our youth about our past so they will be prepared to lead us in the future.
Our local Houston branch takes the mission very seriously and bases all of our decisions on it.
How did you get started with your Zazzle store? How did you find out about us?
We tried doing printed merchandise a couple of times but the quality was not great and then we had to deal with shipping, damages, quantities, and other headaches. Searching the web we finally found Zazzle. With a little research it was obvious that Zazzle was exactly what we needed.
What are your favorite Zazzle products for your Wreaths Across America designs?
The best sellers for our group tends to be the postage, the cards, and the ornaments. However, lately the scarfs have been doing very well.
Besides purchasing gear from your Zazzle store, how can others help our veterans and programs like Wreaths Across America?
Two things are needed for all organizations including ours. Money and Time. Funding for us is what directly decides how many of our heroes get honored with a wreath. Time given by selfless volunteers helping year round to make the event happen is our other need. Everyone expects someone else to be the support, to offer their time and expertise to make things happen for veterans. My hope is that everyone will take the step to be that someone they expect everyone else to be.
Anything else you would like to add about this organization or your Zazzle store?
It only takes little steps to make a difference in someone’s life, whether it be by purchasing a Zazzle card or simply purchasing a wreath to honor a veteran. I hope you will consider helping us Honor Our American Military…One Wreath At A Time.
Our event is this Saturday, December 13th at 11:00am at the Houston National Cemetery. All are welcome.
For information or to make donations, visit the official Wreaths Across America-Houston website. For other ways to help this cause or to find if there is a Wreaths Across America event near you this December 13th, visit the main Wreaths Across America website.