Amber, the spouse of a Fort Bragg Soldier, wiped tears from her eyes after learning that her Family would receive a meal for the holidays.
She hugged Shawna Michaud, a Fort Bragg Armed Services YMCA volunteer who helped distribute the meal baskets to junior-enlisted service members and their Families, Dec. 7, at FBASYMCA building, off Jackson Street.
The baskets, which contained dry goods such as mashed potatoes, stuffing mix, peas, fruit juice, marshmallows and pancake and waffle mix, were donated by Operation Homefront, a national nonprofit with a history of helping military members through difficult financial times.
According to Darden Blow, area director of Operation Homefront’s Charlotte, North Carolina office, the meals also came with a $25 gift card to Walmart.
For Amber, the mother of two children younger than 3 years old, they seemed like a God-send.
“I was shocked. That’s a blessing because I just went and used some of my WIC (women, infants and children) coupons and its gives you milk and it gives you so much peanut butter and so much bread, but it doesn’t give you side dishes. So, I get to feed my kids,” said Amber. “That’s how I look at it. I don’t eat meals. I skip meals, so the kids get food; that’s a win.”
Pfc. Benzion Daniel, a Soldier assigned to the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School carried the basket to Amber’s car. He called her reaction “absolutely about the most wonderful thing . . . these are the best type of details to get assigned to.”
Michaud agreed.
“It’s absolutely amazing. This is that special moment when you feel like you’ve reached out and touched somebody,” she said.
They reach out and touch Families with the help of an organization such as OH.
“Operation Homefront is a vital part of Fort Bragg because they take care of our junior-enlisted Soldiers,” said Lisa Kotson, FBASYMCA’s event coordinator. “It’s important because we have military Families that are in need and this is a way to help them cover the cost of Christmas by covering their holiday meal.”
In addition to meal giveaways, the FBASYMCA offers services such as Baby Bundles, Family support and after-school care.
For more information about Operation Homefront, visit their webpage at http://www.operationhomefront.org.
For more information about Fort Bragg ASYMCA services, call 436-0500 or visit https://www.asymca.org/fort-bragg-home.