San Angelo, December 7, 2018 – Members of the Operation Warmheart initiative, managed by the Goodfellow AFB First Sergeants Council, gathered at the San Angelo Chamber on Friday, December 7, to accept a monetary donation. The donation, totaling $3,500, was presented to Operation Warmheart by the San Angelo Chamber of Commerce’s Military Affairs Committee, on behalf of the San Angelo community.
The donation presented on Friday morning represents money raised by local San Angelo churches and other members of the community.
“Operation Warmheart is an opportunity to give back to our military during the holidays, and to provide relief in situations when military aid programs cannot offer financial assistance,” said Brenda J. Dodson, MSgt, USAF.
“The initiative assists members and their immediate families when they are unable to pay for groceries, clothing, vehicular repair, and other necessities during unique emergency situations or financial hardships,” Dodson said.
“When (active military) members find themselves in these situations and they have nowhere else to go, they turn to this [First Sergeants] Council,” she said. This initiative is the “pulse of morale, health and well-being for our military members” who face these types of hardships.
Operation Warmheart is financially supported through fundraising and generous donations from military members and the local San Angelo community. All donations and contributions are redistributed through monetary loans, grants, gifts, and random acts of kindness.
Operation Warmheart culminates each Christmas holiday through a food distribution partnership with the base commissary. In addition to cash, donations of turkeys, hams, and other food items are collected the two weekends before the Christmas holiday to assist our Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines and their families during the holidays. Volunteers gather from across the base to assemble the boxes containing the essentials for a traditional Christmas dinner.
Sergeant Dodson said they deliver over 100 meal boxes each year.
The success of Operation Warmheart depends on and directly reflects the ‘warm hearts’ of the local community and Goodfellow Air Force Base.
“Our Military Affairs Committee has helped Operation Warmheart for several years,” said Bruce R. Partain, Chamber President/CEO. “Historically, this was done through a golf tournament. This year, our volunteers chose to go directly to donors, especially churches, starting on Veterans Day. We believe this plan was more inclusive of those who would like to help.”
Donors included members of Christian Fellowship Baptist Church, Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, First Presbyterian Church, PaulAnn Baptist Church, St. Luke United Methodist Church and several other individuals. Local media assisted with publicity, including graphic design courtesy of the Thrifty Nickel.
Further information can be provided by Chase Holland, (325) 212-7589, or Mike Ryan, (325) 223-1384, both members of the Military Affairs Committee. Donations are accepted year-round.