The Freeman Project originated from Capt. Matthew Freeman’s last phone call to his mother before he was killed. He said, “Could you get a fundraiser going to get school supplies over here to Afghanistan? The kids would rather have pens and paper the food and water.” Two days later he was killed, but his message rang loud and clear. With the help of the community and the country, The Freeman Project was born.
Since Matthew’s request, over 16,000 pounds of school supplies were sent directly to our men and women on the ground in Afghanistan and Iraq. When it became difficult for the supplies to get directly from our service people into the hands of the children, we looked for another way to effect others educationally. The siblings of the fallen known as “the forgotten mourners”, often struggle for years. We chose to offer scholarships to the siblings of the fallen and combat related suicide. Since our scholarship kick off Veterans Day 2013, we have awarded 9 scholarships.
In 2014, a sibling came to me broken from her brother’s death. She had not received anything of his because his wife was unable to part with anything. I had made teddy bears from Matthew’suniforms who had named their children after him, and suggested she ask her sister-in-law for uniforms that could be used to make bears for his daughters and for her boys. It launched
“Matthew Bears”. Since August of 2014, we have matched families to seamstress and made over 350 bears.
God has led us to find positive ways to turn our tragedy into healing.