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Donating gifts
Members from the Andersen African American Heritage Association give presents to local children at Price Elementary School, Mangilao, Guam, Dec. 21, 2012. A collaboration between members of the AAHA and the Andersen Chapel gathered gifts for local children before the holiday season. A month of planning led to the formation of an Angel Tree donation system for children in the Big Brother, Big Sister Organization. (Courtesy photo)
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Team Andersen donates in holiday spirit

Posted 12/28/2012   Updated 12/28/2012 Email story   Print story


by Senior Airman Benjamin Wiseman
36th Wing Public Affairs

12/28/2012 - ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- As the holiday season is known to be the season of sharing, members from Team Andersen did their part by giving back to the local community Dec. 21.

A collaboration between members of the African American Heritage Association and the Andersen Chapel provided gifts for local children. A month of planning led to the formation of an Angel Tree donation system for children in the Big Brother, Big Sister Organization.

The base chapel and the AAHA chose the Big Brother, Big Sister Organization (BBBS) to donate to due to the organization's mission, which is to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally-supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better.

"We sat down early in November to decide what we were going to do. We chose the BBBS Organization to give back to the youth," said Tech. Sgt. Jermaine Smith, AAHA president. "After coming up with our plan, we talked to the base chapel to set out an Angel Tree. The idea took off from there."

Names of local children from the BBBS program were written on ornaments and placed on a tree in each of the base's chapels. From there, any member from Team Andersen could select an ornament and provide gifts for that child.

"After the trees were put out, ornaments started to disappear one by one," said Sergeant Smith. "At the end, 52 presents were collected for BBBS children."

Not only did the AAHA and base chapel set up the donations, but some of the AAHA members also hand-delivered presents to the children at school.

"We went to Agueda Johnson Middle School, Tamuning Elementary School, and Price Elementary School to pass out the gifts that were donated," said Capt. Rey Heron, acting AAHA treasurer. "We passed out gifts to about eight children at each school. The rest will be delivered to the children's homes by BBBS."

Part of the AAHA mission as an organization is giving back and aiding less fortunate members of the community.

"It feels great to help someone else," said Captain Heron. "It is a very humbling experience to give back to the community."

"The holiday season is about reflection, being thankful and taking extra steps to help make someone else's holiday better," Sergeant Smith added. "It's all about what you can do for someone else during the holidays."

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