Our Back-To-School Brigade events would not be the resounding success they are without our volunteers. From collecting donated supplies to sorting through pencils, crayons and glue sticks, thousands of volunteers spend their summers giving selflessly of their time to show their appreciation to our nation’s military families. We asked our Field Offices to help us share a few stories of those who are helping us make a difference in the lives of the military families in their communities. They define what we mean when we say “1 Military. 1 Family.”
A retired union carpenter from New Jersey, Victor Michaelson moved to El Paso, Texas to be close to his daughter and son in-law, who has served in the US Army for over 12 years. Victor learned about Operation Homefront from his daughter, who introduced him to volunteering in the Army community.
Sunah Noble, Community Liaison for our Southern Plains Field Office, wrote to us: “Victor is such an outstanding, hardworking volunteer! He has been volunteering from the beginning of the Back-To-School Brigade at Fort Bliss, helping us pick up more than 600 educational workbooks from the Molina Foundation, picking up Dollar Tree store collections, helping receive supply collections from other volunteer drop offs, sorting school supplies, and helping us shop for program supplies and materials for Back-to-School Brigade. Victor has also been working hard to support Back-to-School Brigade by promoting the event at information tables and helping out at our local Shamrocks restaurant fundraiser.”
Victor shares, “I love the opportunity to give back to the men and women serving our country. The words of encouragement I would give others thinking about getting involved with military families and the local community is: if you have the opportunity to work with great people, jump at the chance to give back to the people who give so much for us!”
Erika Stewart is a new Operation Homefront volunteer, but she was born for it. The daughter of a Vietnam Veteran, Erika is a military spouse whose experience with service and leadership has been an invaluable asset to our Rocky Mountains Field Office.
“Erika… has stepped into the (volunteer) role with relish!” wrote Christine White, Program Manager for our Rocky Mountains Field Office. “She is our “volunteer wrangler” at school supply sorting sessions, and will do so again at our Back-To-School Brigade event. We appreciate her willing spirit and dedication—Erika is always ready to jump in and do what needs to be done with lots of enthusiasm and energy. Working with her is a pleasure!”
About getting involved in the community, Erika offers these words of wisdom, “Volunteering is rewarding, and makes you thankful for what you have. Glass is half- full rather than half-empty. Look for the positive in every situation. Smile on kids’ faces when they get their backpacks. Military families are part of our communities, our neighbors, our community. The friendships we create are the family we choose for ourselves.”
Maybe you were born to volunteer too? Click here to learn more about how you can get involved with Operation Homefront in your community. Find a list of our upcoming Back-To-School Brigade events here.
Check back with us this weekend as we feature more of our All Star Volunteers. #1Mil1Fam