Wreaths for Veterans founder surprised with $319 at a bow making session

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - This holiday season, the graves of veterans will be adorned with remembrance wreaths. Volunteers put thousands of them together, by hand, and lay them on the graves. It's such a thoughtful gesture for the men and women that thought enough of us to serve and protect our freedoms. WHNT NEWS 19 decided a surprise Pay it Forward was in order and we showed up unannounced at a recent bow making session.

"That's so touching," says Joy Parker, founder of Wreaths for Veterans. "Thank you, thank you, thank you! I'm so touched. I'm so thankful because this is for our veterans and people that gave us our freedom and I can't say enough thanks because of them."

After Parker thanked us and accepted the money, she shared the good news with the group and reminded everyone of its purpose.

"They just gave me $319 for the wreaths!" shouts Parker. "It's not about me. It's about all of you volunteers and all of our fallen heroes. This is what this is for."

Then, "The General" as Parker's called around here, got everyone, including me, to work. Actually, I volunteered as did everyone else at the Veterans Museum in Huntsville. The group was busy cutting ribbon, twisting wire and tying bows to make this symbol of honor and thanks to our fallen heroes.

"It represents thousands when you do this," says Parker. "It's not just us, it's thousands and for them. I say thank you."

Joy Parker founded Wreaths for Veterans in Huntsville nine years ago. The group is making 3,000 wreaths. Volunteers will take them to Maple Hill and Valhalla cemeteries in November. If you want to contribute to the effort, please call 256-881-5487.