NEW ORLEANS - A car filled with donated Mardi Gras beads arrived at Federal City as military families made preparations for the parade season, some first time ever, some first time riding.

Brenna Kinter, who is planning her first Carnival, said things have been crazy.

How you can help the military ride in Mardi Gras parades

"This is going to be my first time riding on a float, so I'm really excited about it,” added an excited Rhonda Humphrey. “I can't wait, because I'm always the one catching, you know."

The members of the Coast Guard Spouses Club, and the Military Officers' Wives Club know what an amazing experience it is for military members to ride in parades.

"He's getting to ride in the Rex parade,” laughed Linda Carroll, as she described her husband’s excitement.

“He loves it. I love seeing him in that cute outfit that he gets to wear. It's so manly."

300 military members are expected to ride in six parades between February 10 and Mardi Gras Day. Some can't ride to without the donations.

"We've got so many young people who would like to participate, and there's no way they can afford these beads," Carroll said.

"It is so important. Last year I rode on the Coast Guard float, and I had many military members come up to me and say, you know Mrs. Calahan, we would love to ride, but it is just cost prohibitive," explained Kathi Callahan.

You know, it takes a lot of beads to last an entire parade route, which is why they're seeking of your old beads for the service members who will be riding this year. Look at it this way, you can say thanks to someone who is protecting our country by giving them the experience of a lifetime.

"We need beads, we Mardi Gras beads, we need generic beads, we need throws like stuffed animals,” said Callahan. “It says that our community loves them."

Donations can be dropped off at:

The Village at Federal City, 2300 General Meyer Avenue, Building 23, in Algiers

Belle Chasse Naval Air Station JAS Housing Office

All South Consulting Engineers, 1st floor, 652 Papworth Drive, Metairie