Story by SPC Thomas Scaggs on 12/13/2016Soldiers from 10th Combat Aviation Brigade donated over 650 items to the Children's Home of Jefferson County on December 9 in Watertown, New York, for their annual toy drive.
"This is incredible for our children," said Rebecca Fern, Director of Foster Care at the Children's Home of Jefferson County. "We have so many children who are unable to wake up Christmas morning with their birth families or are unable to even celebrate Christmas with their birth families, due to the limitations of their situation, so this is something absolutely special for all of our families."
During a brigade-wide effort for less than a month, each battalion was provide with the children's holiday wish lists. Amidst the brigade's ongoing efforts to prepare for its upcoming deployment to Europe, a stream of toys trickled in each day. With the final week remaining, the brigade's toy drive organizers said a substantial amount of gifts were still needed.
"During the last week, we saw an inspiring number of items brought in to us," said Capt. Linda Gerron, public affairs officer at 10th Combat Aviation Brigade. "It was an extremely proud moment for everyone in the Brigade to be able to spread joy throughout the communities we live and work in, especially to kids who need it most."
Soldiers packed multiple vehicles so full with gifts that there was only room for a driver in each. The toys, clothing, and gift cards left Wheeler-Sack Airfield in Fort Drum, NY, and headed to their destination in Watertown, NY.
Volunteer Soldiers, dressed in civilian clothes, moved the gifts into the Children's Home of Jefferson County's office for sorting and wrapping later on. It was only then, with the many bags laid out, that the true size of the donation was finally seen.
The Brigade's leadership said that being able to give to the needy was a gift in and of itself.
"I don't think I can personally say I understand what some of these kids are going through," said Maj. Travis Rabb, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade's executive officer. "I know for me, as I went out and bought a few gift cards and gifts, that it was really a great feeling."
10th CAB is already talking about continuing its holiday help with the Children's Home of Jefferson County for 2017 holiday season.