This Thanksgiving AARP in California took part in a special dinner and expression of gratitude to one Orange County resident who has gone above and beyond for our community.

We honored Bridget Blehm, founder of For Families of Active Military (FFAM), with the Andrus Award, AARP’s most prestigious volunteer distinction. Ms. Blehm was recognized for her organization’s annual Thanksgiving dinner that provides local Southern California troops with a place to gather on the holiday. Blehm, who also serves as FFMA’s executive director, has been organizing this holiday meal with the help of local volunteers for the past 11 years.

AARP California selected  Blehm for her remarkable community service, which has helped many service members and their families, supported AARP’s vision and mission, and inspired other volunteers.

Named after AARP founder Ethel Percy Andrus, the Andrus Award is the association’s most prestigious volunteer tribute and recognizes outstanding individuals who are sharing their experience, talents and skills to enrich the lives of others.

For Families of Active Military endeavors to offer stability, strength and support to our active military and their families on an emergency and proactive basis, whether it be physical, emotional or financial on an as needed basis. The organization is involved with a number of programs that support the troops and their families, including food donations, running a re-entry retreat center, and a December holiday present drive for kids. Blehm was also recently awarded with an appointment as a Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army in Washington DC.