TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --
The Tyndall First Sergeants Group hosted its annual Operation Angel Tree event Friday, Dec. 16 at both the base Thrift Shop and Chapel.
The base community came together to donate toys and sponsor gifts for children of Tyndall’s Airmen. For this event, the First Sergeants Group developed a system to take care of their Airmen and families.
“For us to make this all possible, first sergeants from each unit came together to figure out if there are particular families who need any additional help providing gifts for their children,” said Master Sgt. Jason Ramirez, 325th Communications Squadron first sergeant. “We then collect the names of families and supply donated presents to the base chapel who then wrap the gifts.”
First sergeants primarily take care of the of a unit in areas concerning family health and wellness, unit discipline and morale, and keeping the unit commander updated with personnel issues that affect the unit. This makes them situationally aware of hardships Airmen may be experiencing.
Operation Angel Tree provided gifts to 225 children from 128 Tyndall affiliated families. The event mainly focuses to help single income and larger families. To accomplish the needs of each family, the organizations have devoted more than 140 hours of volunteering and planning into the event.
This year, the Tyndall Spouses Club stepped in to lend a hand.
“The Tyndall Spouses Club’s focus is to give back to our community,” said Aimee Bright, Tyndall Spouses Club president. “It is a privilege to be able to assist Tyndall families who need a little extra support during the holidays.”
The Tyndall Spouses Club recently completed their own holiday spirit event with the Cookie Caper, a program aimed at providing single Airman dormitory residents with free cookies.
“We tried to focus on families with older children that often get left out of these types of giving events,” Bright said. “This year we partnered with the first sergeants and selected gifts for 12 children totaling $1200 in donated gifts. It is an honor to be involved with Operation Angel Tree, and we look forward to supporting it in the future.”
This event is one of several hosted by Tyndall Airmen every year during the holiday season. Each of these events are focused on embracing camaraderie within the community.
“The purpose is to give children the best Christmas the parent can give them and to show the parents that the chapel, spouses group and first sergeants are there to support them,” said Master Sgt. Jamie Smith, 325th Logistics Readiness Squadron first sergeant. “Christmas is about giving love and support, this is just our way of doing it. Letting them know that someone wants to spend the time and effort to make their children's wishes come true really pulls at their heart strings.”