Gary Sinise, also known as Lt Dan, is probably one of the most philanthropic actors out there. Gary has been an advocate of our nation’s defenders for 40 years, thus creating the Gary Sinise Foundation. Each of his programs has been created because of his personal relationships with our nation’s service community and a wide range of non-profits. The Gary Sinise Foundation has 19 corporate sponsors including major companies like American Airlines, Verizon, Regal, and Benjamin Moore.
The Gary Sinise Foundation supports everyone who has made a sacrifice on behalf of our nation. It supports our active-duty military, veterans, first responders and of course their loved ones.
The Snowball Express
The Snowball Express was created in 2006 when Gary got together his band, the Lt Dan Band, and donated them at the 2nd Annual Gary Sinise Foundation event in 2007. The Snowball Express is designed to support the children of fallen military heroes and their surviving spouses and guardians.
According to his website:
IN THE YEARS THAT FOLLOWED, THE BAND WOULD RETURN TO PERFORM FOR NEW AND FAMILIAR FACES, AND GARY’S COMMITMENT TO THE PROGRAM DEEPENED. “I WANT THEM TO KNOW THAT WHAT THEY’VE SACRIFICED HAS NOT GONE UNNOTICED OR FORGOTTEN.” HE WANTED TO ENSURE THE ANNUAL CELEBRATION WAS AS IMPACTFUL AND MEANINGFUL AS POSSIBLE.
It was in 2017, that the Snowball Express became an official Gary Sinise Foundation program. The Snowball Express provides guilt-free fun, allowing a community to learn, grow, and make new friends and new memories.
His website also states:
THE HOLIDAYS CAN BE ESPECIALLY CHALLENGING FOR GRIEVING FAMILIES. EACH DECEMBER, WE HOST A FIVE-DAY EXPERIENCE FOR 1,750+ CHILDREN OF THE FALLEN AND THEIR SURVIVING PARENT OR GUARDIAN. AS A THERAPEUTIC RETREAT WITH A BLEND OF FUN AND INSPIRING PROGRAMS, THESE FAMILIES CAN LEAN ON THEIR PEERS FOR SUPPORT. AND THIS YEAR WE’RE BRINGING SNOWBALL EXPRESS TO WALT DISNEY WORLD RESORT!
They also provide year-round support:
WE’RE ALSO HOSTING COMMUNITY-DRIVEN EVENTS FOR THESE FAMILIES ALL YEAR LONG. FROM BASEBALL GAMES, TO ARTS & EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES, TO CAMPING TRIPS, THESE FAMILIES CAN DEEPEN FRIENDSHIPS RIGHT IN THEIR HOMETOWNS. THESE EVENTS ARE ESSENTIAL FOR CHILDREN AND SURVIVING SPOUSES TO BUILD BONDS WITH THE ONLY PEOPLE WHO CAN TRULY UNDERSTAND THEIR LOSS: EACH OTHER.
You can find out more about his foundation and all the programs here.