By Danielle DeSimone

The military has always been a part of Ashley Warren’s life.

As a child, she grew up listening to the war stories of her grandfather and uncles, who served in the Marines during World War II and in Army during Vietnam, respectively.

Ashley Warren and her son, Joshua Warren. | Photo credit Ashley Warren

But the military became even closer to her heart when her son, Joshua Warren, enlisted as a sailor in the U.S. Navy in 2018. Her son Joshua has been in the Navy for less than two years and is currently on his first deployment overseas.

“Once you become a military mom it’s a whole new world,” Warren said. “And that’s why I chose the USO as the beneficiary of her Facebook Birthday Fundraiser.”

Facebook Birthday Fundraiser for the Troops

In honor of her birthday on August 17, Warren decided to launch a Facebook Birthday Fundraiser with a personal message about why donating to the USO was so important to her and set a goal of $200.

Once Joshua joined the Navy as an aviation boatswains mate, Warren was immediately struck by how much the USO does in providing for the military community.

“Right away, I saw all that the USO was doing to support our military and their families,” Warren said.

“Knowing that the USO is imperative in military support made donating to the organization important to me.”

As with all Facebook Fundraisers, Warren’s fundraiser was shared on her Timeline among her Facebook friends in the weeks leading up to her birthday for all to see – but Warren didn’t stop there.

Meeting and Surpassing the Fundraising Goal

Throughout the month of August, Warren continued to campaign for her fundraiser by sharing it on Facebook again, reaching out to friends, and responding to each individual donation with a genuine thank you message.

By her birthday, Warren had met and surpassed her goal of $200.

“I was surprised by how much support my friends and family gave me for my USO fundraiser,” Warren said.

Ashley Warren and her son, Joshua Warren. | Photo credit Ashley Warren

“It was great to be able to do a fundraiser with just a couple of clicks and it was a wonderful present for me to see the money being raised for a cause I support 100%.”

For Warren, the fundraiser was a joint effort of her extended community – friends, family members, acquaintances – all coming together across the country to raise money for the USO. These tiny acts of generosity add up to make a big impact in the lives of our service members and their families, and it is a heartwarming reminder of the power of social media and community.

“I want to encourage others to do a fundraiser,” Warren said. “Because, while I cannot give all that is needed, together we can help the USO succeed.”