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Orphan donations
Members of Joint Task Force-Bravo at Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras, provide food for and play with children at a local orphanage July 1, 2012. Units across JTF-Bravo sponsor various orphanages in the area and visit them frequently throughout the year. (U.S. Air Force photo/1st Lt. Christopher Diaz/Released)
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Airmen orchestrate orphanage donations

Posted 8/2/2012   Updated 8/2/2012 Email story   Print story


by Airman 1st Class Shane M. Phipps
366th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

8/2/2012 - MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- Due to an abundance of poverty and disease, the country of Honduras harbors a staggering amount of orphans. In fact, the United Nations Children's Fund estimates there to be more than 170,000 in the region.

Air Force personnel around the globe are often dedicated to humanitarian missions geared toward providing vital assistance to anyone in need, and MHAFB Gunfighters are no exception.

"The noncommissioned officer-in-charge of our flight, Master Sgt. Misty Hudon, is currently deployed to Honduras and she e-mailed us asking if we could get donations together for a couple orphanages out there," explained 2nd Lt. Victoria Weiger, TRICARE Operations and Patient Administration, flight commander.

Hudon relayed the gravity of the situation for the orphans back to her flight on MHAFB, motivating them to orchestrate a drive throughout the entire Medical Group.

"She explained to us that they don't have much more than a teddy bear tied to a rope to play with, and they go to see them all the time, so anything we could send would be greatly appreciated," stated Tech. Sgt. Amanda Fuller, acting NCOIC of TRICARE Operations and Patient Administration.

Although the MDG has spearheaded this cause, any Gunfighter can get involved.

"If anyone would like us to mail items to the orphans, they can drop them off at patient administration anytime before Aug. 31, and we will take care of it," said Fuller.

The children, ages two months to 19-years-old, are in dire need of clothing, feminine hygiene products, socks, tooth brushes, diapers, toys and other toiletries.

"So far, we have received 345 toys, 30 items of clothing, 59 soaps and lotions, three toothpastes, ten water paints, 14 notebooks, 25 packages of crayons, 27 erasers, five pencil sharpeners, 12 glue sticks and 100 sheets of paper," explained Fuller.

Currently, all shipping costs have been generously covered by the members of the TRICARE Operations and Patient Administration flight.

"Members of our flight have personally pitched in money for the shipping costs, which has already reached $80," explained Fuller.

This charitable cause not only benefits youth in dire need of aid, it also offers Gunfighters the opportunity to better comprehend the Air Force's humanitarian priorities.

"When you are involved in a cause like this, it gives you a certain understanding of the importance of achieving our humanitarian missions as well as our regular duties," explained Weiger.

For more information on donations, contact Tech. Sgt. Fuller at (208) 828-7527.

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