The inspiration for A Soldier's Child Foundation came while Daryl Mackin, Founder & Executive Director, was preparing for his own 6-year-old son’s surprise birthday party. Like most parents, he was easily caught up in all the “chores” required to pull off the birthday celebration.
“I quickly lost sight of the joy of the moment,” says Mackin. “I was sitting at my computer at work, where on my wall I have a memorial of Staff Sgt. Marc Golczynski. Marc is the son of my previous neighbors, Henry and Fay Golczynski, and a fallen soldier of the Iraq war. I also have a very moving picture of Marc’s son Christian receiving his father’s flag. This photo by Aaron Thompson won the AP Managing Editor’s Photo of the Year. It went all over the world. “As I finished typing out my son’s invitations and gave a big sigh of frustration, I looked up at my wall and was immediately convicted in my spirit for my negative attitude. My heart turned to Christian Golczynski, who will never be able to have a party planned by his dad.”
“There are many children like Christian that will never receive another birthday gift from their father/mother because they gave their life while defending our freedoms. Likewise, the fallen soldier will never be able to give their child a surprise birthday party, a bicycle for their son, a necklace for their daughter, financial assistance for their child’s first car, or pursuit of higher education.
U.S. Marine Staff Sgt. Marcus Andrew “Marc” Golczynski (Christian’s father) wrote this in a letter to his mother shortly before he died in combat:
“We are warriors; we fight and sometimes die so that our families don’t have to; Stand beside us.”
This is the intention of A Soldier’s Child Foundation (ASC).
“As citizens of the United States of America, we are forever indebted to the men and women who so unselfishly protect our freedoms. It is our objective to communicate through ASC to the children left behind that the memory of their parent will not fade away. We want them to know that there are many Americans who are forever grateful for their parent’s sacrifice."
“With humbleness of heart, we aim to honor the memory of the parent by giving a meaningful gift to his/her children on their birthday. Christian Golczynski was the first child to receive a gift from ASC, and our goal is to reach every soldier’s child, adopting them into the foundation until they are of adult age. We cannot substitute the bond and love of the parent that is forever gone, but with your help we can show them that we really do care.
ASC’s very first birthday celebration with Christian Golczynski’s on his 10th birthday June 2nd 2008
Daryl JW Mackin and ASC’s first child, Christian Golczynski, on May 18 2016 on the 18th floor of the Gaylord National Harbor Hotel in Baltimore, celebrating Christian’s 18th birthday
Our mission is to serve the children of military personnel who have lost their lives on active duty, while defending the United States of America. ASC has three points of service for the children of our fallen:
Celebrating our recipient children birthdays every year from one-year-old and up to age 18, by spending $150 per child, per birthday, according to the child’s specific gift wishes and needs.
Mentorship Programs / Camps
Journey Camp – We offer a Journey Camp experience for our recipients between the ages of 9-17. This is a week-long summer camp hosted by ASC. Kids are encouraged to attend for at least 3 years. We also offer some very exciting mentorship programs/mini-camps which include golf, dance, sports, theater, science, songwriting, hunting/fishing programs, and more.
PS23 Program – ASC has a leadership development program (PS23) designed for ASC young adults from 18 years of age and older. PS23 is an intensive outdoor weekend focusing on mind, body, and spirit. PS23 Mentors also have numerous leadership opportunities throughout the year at our camps and events.
ASC facilitates secondary/college scholarships for our recipients through our partner organization, The Folded Flag Foundation.
ASC recipient children, Leah and Walker at A Soldier’s Child Foundation’s 12th Annual “A Life Worth Celebrating” Dinner Banquet.
The scholarship and grant opportunities offered by The Folded Flag Foundation include:
Educational scholarships to cover the cost of private school tuition and fees, tutoring, after-school programs, summer camps, and/or other related educational expenses for qualified children in grades K–12.
Educational scholarships for qualified college-bound spouses and/or children (under the age of 26) to cover the cost of tuition and fees, books, computers, living expenses, tutoring, test preparation services, and/or career preparation expenses.
The Folded Flag Foundation has specific criteria for approved applicants. A Soldier's Child Foundation lends no leverage for ASC recipient children other than we endorse The Folded Flag Foundation. Over the past few years, many ASC recipient children have received TFFF grants. Please be aware that it is possible that not all ASC recipients meet TFFF requirements.
To grow nationally, becoming a household name as the gold standard for our military families. Providing an opportunity for lifelong touch-points, so that ASC recipients will say it is an honor to be A Soldier’s Child.
We presently have over 4000 children enrolled in all 50 states.
We expect to exceed 4500 children by the end of 2021.
We are so grateful for you and others all over our country committed to help us honor our national treasure; the children of our fallen military servicemen and servicewomen.