Santa Margarita Chapter, NSDAR
Oceanside, California

Books, Books, and More Books

SMC Literacy Promotion Committee celebrates National Library Week, April 7-13, 2024. Santa Margarita Chapter members participated in a Children's Book Drive during our April meeting.

Literacy Promotion Chapter Chair, utilized the $300 in donated funds to purchase library quality children's books for the Oceanside Public Library's Children's Department. Members also brought in additional children's books to be gifted to the library. In all, 144 children's books were donated to the Children's Department. An additional 18 books were donated to the Friends of the Library on Monday, April 7.

Fisher House Camp Pendleton

Santa Margarita Chapter members toured Fisher House Camp Pendleton today. And, of course, we brought along donated items from their Wish List. The Fisher House Mission is so inspiring. It makes me happy that we are giving ongoing support to this service.

Vietnam Veterans Honored

March 29th, Santa Margarita Chapter volunteered with Veterans Association of North County and Hospice of the North Coast in expressing deep gratitude and honor to the Veterans of the Vietnam War.

Their service and sacrifice have left an indelible mark on history, and at the annual Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans event, we joined others to recognize their bravery and commitment to defending freedom. Santa Margarita Daughters lined the red carpet to extend our heartfelt appreciation to these heroes who selflessly served our nation.

Medal of Honor Day

The Santa Margarita Chapter was invited to attend the Sgt. William Pittenger Camp 21 Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War Annual Medal of Honor Day Ceremony, March 25th, 2024 at the Fallbrook Oddfellows Pioneer Cemetery.

National Medal of Honor Day was established by Congress to “foster public appreciation and recognition of Medal of Honor Recipients.” The first National Medal of Honor Day was celebrated on March 25, 1991. March 25th was chosen because it was on that date in 1863 that the first Medals of Honor were presented to six members of Andrews’ Raiders.

During the American Civil War, a group of 20 Union Soldiers and two civilians led by James Andrews infiltrated northern Georgia in what was to be known as Andrews’ Raid in 1862.

The raiders commandeered a northbound train called the General and proceeded north on their raid. The General’s conductor, William Fuller, obtained a southbound train, the Texas, and thus began “The Great Locomotive Chase”.

All the Union raiders were eventually captured. Eight were hanged, eight escaped, and the last six were exchanged.

Sgt. William Pittenger was among the exchanged prisoners, who were the first recipients of the Medal of Honor, presented on March 25th, 1863.

Service in Seconds Project

Santa Margarita Chapter has had a long relationship with the VA Hospital in San Diego. One of our focused donations has been hygiene bags with the toiletries members brought in from their travels. The little shampoos, conditioner, soaps, and lotions that hotels would have in the rooms. In recent years those have become scarce. We would supplement those items with washcloths, combs, a razor, and a variety of other items that showed up in the donations each month. Santa Margarita Chapter VA Chair would take the items home and assemble plastic bags containing these items. But as the hotel toiletries became more and more scarce, we had fewer and fewer bags to donate.

Using the "BUY NOTHING" Facebook page a member was able to collect a large number of the toiletries from nearby neighbors. Plus a dermatologist's office donated an excess of samples they had. We had enough toiletries for 100 hygiene bags! The chapter purchased 100 washcloths, razors with shaving cream, combs, and plastic bags from amazon for $99, making our cost $1 per bag. 

The chapter members gathered together to assemble the bags at the home of Santa Margarita Chapter's regent house. 100 bags assembled, the mess cleaned up and bags loaded ready for delivery in less than 1 hour.

National Potato Chip Day

March 14 is NATIONAL POTATO CHIP DAY!!!! Santa Margarita Chapter DAR Project Patriot supported the USO event with 150 individual bags of chips, plus 14 family sized bags for giving out samples. These were not your typical potato chips. Flavors included Malt Vinegar and Pepper, Jalapeno Cheddar, Voodoo, Cajun Dill Gator-Tator, Sweet Maui Onion, Peppercini, Old Bay, Balsamic Vinegar, The Crab Chip, Camembert, Mesquite BBQ, and more. We also delivered a variety of 24 individual bags for the residents at the Camp Pendleton Fisher House.


Valentine Day 2024

Santa Margarita Chapter and Operation Show Our Military Some Love: We assembled love and appreciation goodie bags for those who are patriotically serving our country at Camp Pendleton. The goal was 200 treat bags with 5 candies and a card included. We well exceeded our goal plus we expanded our efforts. Enough candy was donated so that each treat bag had 11 candies and a handwritten Valentine card. We also made Valentine treat bags for the seven families currently in residence at the Camp Pendleton Fisher House. Our Community Classroom Chair jumped on board and not only did we make bags for the classroom we sponsor, but we decided to adopt the other 5th grade classroom as well. Of course, that meant 76 Valentine treat bags for our classrooms on Camp Pendleton. The treat bags for USO and Fisher House were delivered today. The classrooms will receive their treat bags on Valentine's Day.

The Hannah White Arnett Medal Ceremony

January 12, 2024 Santa Margarita Chapter held its first ever DAR/SAR/S.R. Relations event. We used the luncheon meeting to award three Hannah White Arnett Bronze Medals for the unsolicited beautification of a DAR Penny Pines Memorial. SMC HODAR and SAR member accepted the award for the three compatriots of the Col. William Grayson Chapter, NSSAR. The members of the Col. William Grayson Chapter, NSSAR will receive their medals at their next SAR meeting in Virginia. The long list of attending titled guests was amazing. The CSSDAR State Regent was able to attend as well as the CSSDAR DAR/SAR/S.R. Relations Chair. SAR was represented by the SAR-DAR Liaison, and the San Diego Chapter President.


Camp Pendleton Fisher House

Camp Pendleton Fisher House was the focus of the Santa Margarita Chapter meeting in January. The Fisher House General Manager, was our guest speaker. SMC Daughters brought bottled water and nitrile gloves to be donated to the Fisher House. Donated monies were turned into Walmart Gift Cards that were delivered to the house a week later.

Annual USO Camp Pendleton Christmas Eve Cookie Drop:

On Christmas Eve USO volunteers assembled 350 boxes of cookies to deliver to Military Members on Duty. Santa Margarita Chapter daughters and DAR Project Patriot National Vice Chair, were part of the team. The Marines were so appreciative to receive those bakery goodies.

Wreaths Across America:

Our chapter ordered 426 Wreaths of our 500 goal for 2023! Way to go Santa Margarita Chapter Daughters!

Remember, ordering wreaths is a year round event. Even though the 2023 year is over we can start ordering wreaths for 2024. You can order wreaths by using the link at Wreaths Across America

On December 15 Santa Margarita Daughter's Remembered and Honored our veterans by laying Remembrance wreaths on the graves of our country's fallen heroes at both Fort Rosecrans and Miramar National Cemeteries.

Jingle Bell Event at Solutions for Change:

Thanks to all your donations, we helped two families with clothing, household items, Christmas dinner and, of course, gifts, as well as, decorating their apartments for the Holidays!

Veterans Affairs Backpacks:

At our meeting in November, we assembled 200 notepad packages to go in the VA backpacks for Christmas. They were delivered to the VA Hospital in La Jolla on November 14. They looked really nice.

Honoring San Diego's Vietnam Veterans:

District XIV Daughters participated in the honoring of Vietnam Veterans aboard the USS Midway in San Diego.


USO Camp Pendleton Jamboree:

Camp Pendleton United Service Organizations (USO) Jamboree is the largest Camp Pendleton USO event of the year. It takes a lot of volunteers to put this all together. There was music and comedic entertainment, BBQ, ice cream, lots of games and prizes, pony rides and a petting zoo. Camp Pendleton families went home with their bellies full and their arms full of prizes. Everything was provided by donations and the USO. Zero cost to our Active-Duty service members and their families.

Santa Margarita Chapter volunteers assisted with registration, setting up, running, and breakdown of the activity boots, and more. It was a hot summer day and we were tired at the end of our shift. But we had a great time and left with smiles on our faces.

National S'mores Day:

USO Camp Pendleton and Santa Margarita Chapter Daughters celebrated National S’mores Day in the USO Camp Pendleton center, providing 113 families with s’mores kits! Yummy messy s’mores for all! Santa Margarita Chapter Daughters provided 60 of our S’mores kits!5


DAR Penny Pines Memorial Cleanup:

Santa Margarita Chapter Husband of DAR (HODAR), William Collier, with Ross Schwalm and John Patterson, all compatriots of the Col. William Grayson Chapter of the SAR, conducted mid-summer (Aug 2023) cleanup at the DAR Penny Pines Memorial site along US 29 near Gainesville, Virginia in the Conway Robinson State Forest. The land is a part of the larger Conway-Robinson Memorial State Forest, located south of the Manassas Battleground. This portion of the Forest has been designated as a long-term growth pine forest for educating college level forestry students. There is a bronze marker with a slate path and patio surrounding the marker. The marker was dedicated by District of Columbia DAR in 1939.

SMC Daughters Support Honor Flight with Cards:

This summer (2023), Daughters of the Santa Margarita Chapter took home cards with instructions to write them specifically for Honor Flight veterans and then to return the cards at our September meeting. Ready to mail are 100 cards for the upcoming San Diego Fall Honor Flight.

USO Camp Pendleton Scavenger Hunt at Carlsbad Village:

As DAR Project Patriot/USO Camp Pendleton Volunteers, we are making a difference for active-duty soldiers and their families. Members of Santa Margarita and Linares Chapters supported the "Out and About Carlsbad Village" event this past weekend. Stations were spread out to multiple locations in Carlsbad Village. Volunteers were stationed at the designated locations to sign the participants map and hand out a sample or help with a craft. Samples included pizza from Pizza Port, chips and salsa from Senor Grubby's, chocolate bars from the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce, and ice cream from Handles. There were also three selfie spots at the murals in town. The weather was great and the families all seemed to have a great time going around the village to gather signatures.

Santa Margarita Chapter, planted a succulent garden to honor the gravesite of SSgt Reckless:

SSgt Reckless was a highly decorated Korean War Veteran War Horse. SSgt Reckless is interred at Stepp Stables located aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California. Daughters donated soil and a variety of native succulents. The succulent garden was designed in a horse trough and placed beside SSgt Reckless’ memorial tombstone.

Reckless was awarded two purple hearts, a Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, a Presidential Unit Citation with a bronze star, the National Defense Service Medal, a Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Korea Medal, a Navy Unit Commendation, a Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation and, posthumously, was awarded the Dickin Medal.

To read about SSgt Reckless’ military accomplishments, please visit the official Camp Pendleton News Article on the Monument Honoring SSgt Reckless found here

After serving in the Korean War, Reckless’ final duty station was Camp Pendleton where she stayed until her death in 1968. Reckless was buried with full military honors. — at Stepp Stables.



Santa Margarita Chapter supports the three local JROTC units, Army Navy Academy, Oceanside High School and El Camino High School. JROTC Medals with bar to wear on uniform, a certificate, and a monetary award are presented each year to a cadet chosen by their respective school.

Army Navy Academy, Oceanside High School Cadet

El Camino High School Cadet


USO Camp Pendleton Military Spouse Appreciation:

Santa Margarita Daughters participated in an amazing evening of resources, music, giveaways, ice cream, flowers, smiles, shopping and MORE at the 2nd Annual USO Camp Pendleton Exclusive Military Spouse Appreciation red carpet event at the Carlsbad Premium Outlet!

DAR Project Patriot is making a difference with USO Camp Pendleton. — at Carlsbad Premium Outlets.

DAR Daughters manned the scavenger hunt areas.

Spouses checked in at the USO Camp Pendleton Welcome station. They received their card for the scavenger hunt and their swag bag before walking the red carpet.

Haagen Dazs provided free ice cream.

Carlsbad Outlet provided prizes for completing the scavenger hunt. And for $125 spent at the mall, a $25 gift card was offered. You just had to show your receipts.

A DJ kept the party lively

As the evening was ending another SMC Daughter stopped by to say hello.

A tired but happy crew!

Celebrating Military Families:

Oceanside celebrated military families on May 20 at the Oceanside Pier amphitheater. Santa Margarita supported through America 250 by passing out cookies from San Luis Bakery.

USO Camp Pendleton Assembly:

Santa Margarita’s daughters were privileged to volunteer at Camp Pendleton, with the United Service Organizations (USO), for the assembling of 350 Sendoff snack bags and 443 Welcome Home bags. Look at the photo that was taken after we had filled all the bags. These are the marines who came to take the bags to their destination. Much of what we packed had been donated by DAR chapters and members from the Amazon Wish lists. Look at the two shelving units, on the right, behind us. Those are all items donated by DAR, minus what we used to pack the bags. In addition, there are boxes of food items that are stored in a separate location, away from the mice.

Photos Courtesy of Chapter Members