JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J.- —
Local volunteers from the Chambersburg, Pa., area stuffed and delivered 140 stockings to the Soldiers Chapel at Joint Base McGuire-Dix Lakehurst, making the Christmas holiday a little more festive for service members here.
Chambersburg volunteers used local media outlets to enlist the aid from members of their community to help out in the initiative of picking up empty stockings and stuffing them with donated items from a pre-approved list.
Some of the items included in the stockings were protein bars, batteries, jerky, coffee, hot chocolate, canned and dried fruits, soups, canned tuna fish and vitamins. The items were received, packed into the stockings and driven by a volunteer to the Army chapel here for delivery to service members. It was through this effort that the Chambersburg community wanted to show their appreciation to the military.
“Providing the troops with good tidings and holiday cheer is a great way for us to show our support and gratitude for the sacrifices they make to keep our country safe and secure,” said John Izzi, who made the delivery.
U.S. Army Col. Ken Lawson, Army Support Activity-Fort Dix command chaplain, then immediately decided how to distribute the stockings.
“When Sharon Jacobs contacted me with the idea of giving Christmas stockings to needy service members, I thought it was a great idea,” said Lawson. “Knowing that the Joint Base was having a free Christmas morning breakfast at McGuire Chapel, it seemed like the ideal time to give the donated items to service members who were away from home.”
“It feels great to know that people appreciate you,” said Airman 1st Class Ibrahima Kande, a 305th Maintenance Squadron administrative specialist, who attended the breakfast and received a stocking. “They were up at 3 a.m. cooking so that we didn’t have to stay in our rooms all day with nothing to do.”
The service members were appreciative of the support and efforts from the volunteers to bring more joy to their Christmas holiday.
“It’s nice to have someone to cook for us and provide the stockings since we are so far away from our families,” said Airman 1st Class Jessica Vasquez, 87th Logistics Readiness Squadron logistics planner.
Thanks to hot food and the warm hearts of the people responsible for providing and distributing the stockings, many service members of Joint Base MDL experienced the true giving spirit of Christmas.