UPDATE Dec. 11, 2019: Hampton National Cemetery is still in need of thousands of wreaths for graves.
As of midday Wednesday — the deadline for sponsoring wreaths — the cemetery was set to fall short by about 22,000 wreaths.
Wreaths cost $15 to sponsor.
Click here to donate.
The cemetery will have a wreath-laying ceremony Saturday.
HAMPTON,Va. (WAVY) — The holiday season means that Wreaths Across America will soon be decorating the graves of service members across the country.
Here in Hampton Roads, some graves at the Hampton National Cemetery will be decorated, but the group is in need of thousands of more sponsorships to honor every military member buried there.
That’s why Emily Pratt and Laura Bangor, with Team Tidewater, are hoping the community can step up to help.
“We would certainly call upon our community, not just our military brothers and sisters, but civilians, our neighbors and loved ones, to consider donating or sponsoring one wreath this year,” Pratt said.
The two women are Navy spouses and say they learned about fundraising groups for Wreaths Across America after a friend started one for the Arlington National Cemetery.
Bangor was made aware about the need for wreaths last year when her family went to place some at the Hampton cemetery.
“When they came home, two things stood out. One was how few there were compared to the ones that were laid and two, the condition of the artificial wreaths,” she said.
So, they formed Team Tidewater earlier this year to help the historic cemetery that’s been around since 1862 and holds nine Medal of Honor recipients.
Bangor and Pratt say there are already 4,000 out of 33,000 sponsored. They’re hoping to get at least get 5,000 more this year and increase that number annually.
“It’s something that’s near and dear to our hearts, but it’s also something in our community and nation that people should be more aware of. There are more than 1,600 cemeteries across the country and the world where these wreaths are laid. It’s not just Hampton Roads, it’s not just Arlington. These exist in our communities,” Bangor said.
A sponsorship costs $15 per wreath, which is tax deductible, and the deadline to get one is December 2.
Click here to donate.
Those wreaths will be placed on graves at a ceremony on December 14.
Volunteers are also needed for the event.
To volunteer or if you would like more information, email Team Tidewater at TeamTidewaterVA@gmail.com.