Volunteers make ornaments to thank veterans during the holiday season

This holiday season, veterans across the country will receive a small gift with a big message from volunteers right here in our area.

Christmas ornaments are en route to service members' homes right now.

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Volunteers in Northern Virginia come together to assemble and ship the ornaments each year, and even though the coronavirus pandemic may have changed how they gather, it didn’t stop their message.

It’s a small token of thanks to the men and women who serve.

Laura Castellvi, the Community Outreach Director for Semp Fi and America’s Fund says, “It’s just a reminder that we’re thinking of them this holiday season.”

Castellvi is just one of several volunteers helping make all of this possible.

Handcrafted and designed with love, Christmas ornaments are being wrapped, boxed and shipped out to veterans nationwide.  This year, the effort was mostly virtual due to the coronavirus pandemic.

A small group met at the VFW Post 1503 in Dale City on Sunday to help pack the boxes wearing masks and socially distancing.

FOX 5’s Tisha Lewis reports USPS workers came to pick it all up and now more than 17,000 ornaments are en route, likely arriving in just days.

For US Marine Josh Bleill, the ornament is a small reminder of the big hearts and the community ready to help and rooting for him and those who serve.

The volunteers also provide gas cards, grocery assistance, housing help and more to veterans nationwide.

You can see the ornament in the coming weeks after the veterans receive them — the goal is to keep it all a surprise.