Hey blog readers, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. SO many PCH employees want to be part of the Prize Patrol. I mean after all, being part of the team that is going to change someone’s life forever is definitely an honor. And since we can’t be on the receiving end of the Big Check, it’s pretty nifty to be on the giving side.
Last week, on January 15th, not only did my dream of being on the Prize Patrol come true, but I got a special bonus. You see, I wasn’t just awarding any Big Check. It was my job to help award one of the Give Back Big Checks! As you know, the PCH Give Back is an annual charity event on the PCH Fan Page on Facebook, where fans are allowed to vote for their favorite charity to receive a big donation from Publishers Clearing House! Three amazing charities participated this year — St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, The ASPCA® and the USO (United Service Organizations) — and I had the honor of traveling to Arlington, Virginia to award $25,000 to the USO!
Travelling with the Big Check isn’t as easy as you would imagine. In fact, when my Prize Patrol partner Danielle B. and I got on the plane with it, we immediately received a stern look from a flight attendant. Having many years of Prize Patrol experience under her belt, Danielle was prepared.
“You’ve heard of Publishers Clearing House? Well, it’s real and we’re the Prize Patrol. This is the Big Check. We cannot let this check out of our sight and we can’t check it. Can you help us?” The stern look turned into a smile and the pilot even budded in to let us know that the Big Check could stay up in the cockpit with him. Talk about flying “first class,” that check had a better seat than I did!
We arrived safely, headed to dinner with some friends and then got ready. The next day was going to be fun!
It was my job to drive the Prize Patrol van to Fort Belvoir in Virginia, and if you’ve ever wondered if it’s difficult to drive a mini van with balloons flying around in the back, the answer is YES. But balloon annoyances aside, we were headed to the USO Warrior and Family Center and Fort Belvoir. I truly didn’t know what to expect with this being my first Prize Patrol delivery. The minute we walked in, the cameras started flashing and we were greeted with smiles. After all, who wouldn’t be happy about receiving a Big Check from Publishers Clearing House?
USO Vice President of Operations, Glenn Welling was one of the men on the receiving end of the $25,000 Big Check and he was more than happy to accept it. He expressed his gratitude and we learned even more about what the USO does to help troops and military families both at home and abroad. Additionally, we got even more information about the “Every Moment Counts” campaign that the USO is currently running. The goal is to remind everyone that the moments servicemen and women get to spend with their families and friends doing simple every day things count more than we can imagine. Whether it’s going to a hockey game or simply staying in and watching TV, those moments are treasured. The normalcy of everyday life, not only for the service men and women, but for their families as well, often go by the wayside when a deployment happens. It’s incredibly important not to forget, and to remember that every moment counts.
Delivering the Big Check to the USO and knowing that that $25,000 will go a long way for an organization that touches so many lives was definitely a moment that I will never forget. And now that you’ve read MY side of the story, check out the USO’s blog covering the Prize Patrol delivery!
Thank you to the USO for all the important work you do. And once again, a big thanks to all our fans who participated in The Give Back event on the PCH Fan Page on Facebook. You all are the best!
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