Thursday, December 16, 2010

Nimitz Sailors Volunteer in Local Community, Support Area Youth

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Ashley Berumen, USS Nimitz (CVN 68) Public Affairs

LAKE BAY, Wash. (NNS) -- Sailors from the Air Department aboard USS Nimitz (CVN 68) assisted local volunteers in a community relations project at Lutheran Church in Lake Bay, Wash., Dec. 15.

Sailors stuffed backpacks full of food and school supplies for 85 children in the local community.

Nimitz' participation was organized by Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) 3rd Class Michael Pascerella, whose aunt, Karen Jorgenson, organizes the church's backpack program.

Jorgenson runs the program each week from donations supplied by the local community.

"It's a blessing," said Jorgenson. "We really needed the extra help, and the Sailors worked really hard."

Cmdr. David Appezato, representing Nimitz leadership, participated in the project and said it was a great way for Nimitz to get to know the community and show Nimitz cares.

"Bremerton has opened its arms to us," said Appezzato. "We can give back by helping the community. What better way to give back, than by helping kids?"

Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) 2nd Class Jeremy C. Mathis has volunteered on community relations projects before and thinks it is something everyone should do because it is a good way for Sailors to give back to the community.

"The people are very passionate and really want to be here," said Mathis. "It makes an impression on you. It's always good to do something for someone else and have fun while you're doing it."

This was Nimitz' first community relations project since arriving at Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton Dec. 9 to prepare for a year-long dry-docked maintenance period at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility.

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