TAFB, Panama City Rescue Mission; Women’s Equality Day volunteers

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Magen M. Reeves
  • 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Members from across Tyndall Air Force Base gathered at the Panama City Rescue Mission’s Bethel Village Women and Children’s Shelter to deliver donated hygiene products and clothing as well as help with various yard maintenance projects on Aug. 26.

The initiative was led by the 325th Force Support Squadron to show support on Women’s Equality Day, which marks the ratification of the 19th Amendment, granting women the Constitutional right to vote.

“We chose to do this event not just to help the community, but to share what the day is about,” said Staff Sgt. Carolann Nordberg, 325th FSS unit deployment manager. “There are so many women in history that helped the suffrage movement and create equality. It is important for Airmen to recognize the past and how it has affected the present and what changes are coming in the future.”

The annual observance also serves to raise awareness about issues and challenges women face in the United States today.

“I was responsible for gathering all the information… what kind of work they needed done, what type of donations they were in need of and what we could do to make their lives easier,” said Staff Sgt. Alyssa Alba, 325th FSS resource management specialist. “Ultimately, our goal is to have the women and children at the shelter benefit…and give them hope that things can get better. I hope that we can leave our mark…and let them know we care about them and their well-being.”

Approximately 25 Airmen, spouses and civilians gathered at the shelter on the day of observance to help with yard maintenance, which included pulling weeds, mowing grass and deconstructing several damaged fences.

“It is important for us in the Air Force to participate in giving back to the community because some people really look to us as heroes,” said Alba. “We may not see it ourselves because this is an everyday thing for us but you never know who you can inspire by doing a simple act of kindness.”

Tyndall’s volunteers supported the shelter’s goal of breaking the cycle of poverty and homelessness in Panama City through a collaborative community approach by offering education, training resources, guidance and social representation.

“It is an absolute honor to be able to support the local women and children in Panama City,” said Nordberg. “Times get tough, but it is in these times where we have to rally together to help our brothers and sisters in the community. Everyone should be treated as equals, no matter what age, gender, or race. Equal opportunities, pay, and representation should be a right, not a privilege.”