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NEWS | Nov. 16, 2016

Operation Warmheart: A time to give

By Airman 1st Class Kaylee Dubois 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

The First Sergeant Council is hosting its annual Operation Warmheart Thanksgiving basket drive at Langley Air Force Base, Va., beginning Nov. 7 through Nov. 20, 2016. This year, they hope to gather enough food and money to deliver more than 500 Thanksgiving baskets.     


Operation Warmheart, a nonprofit organization, was established by the First Sergeants Council to manage, receive and distribute charitable funds to JBLE service members and families who are in need of assistance. Each year, the Thanksgiving basket drive is the largest direct effort of OWH.


“This non-profit organization is an avenue where we can truly help our Airmen, and that Airmen is big A,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Jerry Daves Jr., 633rd Aerospace Medicine Squadron and 633rd Dental Squadron first sergeant and the OWH event coordinator. “We can take money out of our funds and give it directly to them without any payback. It’s a great organization that we built ourselves to do nothing but purely help Airmen.”


OWH will be collecting food items for the Thanksgiving baskets at JBLE’s Base Exchange and commissary between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. during the two-week period.


Cornbread, stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and other traditional staples of a Thanksgiving meal will be included in the baskets. Also, a $25 gift card will be included so the receiving family can make the selection of a turkey or ham.


“OWH reminds people that this is the time to give,” said U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Maya Pinhassian, 733rd Logistics Readiness Squadron and an OWH volunteer. “Giving back is what the military instills in us.”


Although the majority of the OWH distributions are made during the holidays, special grants may be handed out throughout the year to Airmen for emergencies such as car repairs, travel and lodging.


“The main goal is to make sure Airmen in need are taken care of,” said Daves. “Be it around the holidays or anytime throughout the year, if they have special needs or circumstances, we can provide assistance.”


If you are interested in donating food or monetary items or would like to volunteer to help OWH, contact your unit’s First Sergeant.