Military News

Friday, April 10, 2015

Team Fairchild donates 'Welcome Boxes' to local foster children

by Airman 1st Class Taylor Bourgeous
92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

4/10/2015 - FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- Members from Team Fairchild donated more than 85 "Welcome Boxes" with essential items for local foster children to the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, Children Administration, in Spokane, Washington, April 7.

The boxes will be given to children ages 2 to 17 while they are waiting, some for hours, in a Department of Social and Health Services Office for placement in a foster home.

According to the Welcome Box brochure, this is usually a time of high anxiety for children as they've recently been removed from their home and are being moved to a new, unknown foster home.

Staff Sgt. Sheminka Jordan, 92nd Medical Group dental records and reception NCO in charge, along with Misty Ayres, 92nd Medical Group dental assistant, worked closely with the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services to organize this base-wide effort.

"I personally know what it feels like to be taken away from everything you know and have," Jordan said. "To some, this box may seem simple, but to those kids, it will mean the world. It lets them know that someone cared enough to take the time to think about them and make them a box especially for them."

The boxes were filled with age-appropriate essentials such as toothbrushes and snacks as well as some extra items like stuffed animals, card games or journals. They also included a note with an encouraging message, such as, "You are special," or "You are important."

"The boxes are neatly put away and awaiting the opportunity to brighten a child's day," said Shannon Boniface, Children's Administration supervisor and program consultant. "We are very fortunate to have had this opportunity to partner with Fairchild Air Force Base."

The city of Spokane shows a tremendous amount of support to the military community, Jordan said. This was the perfect opportunity to give back to the community and to help the children. We want to let these children know that they are not alone and have the support of many people.

Jordan and Ayres plan to make this initiative an ongoing partnership with the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services and will organize future Welcome Box drives.

"The boxes are made by volunteer efforts only and not funded by anyone or anything," Ayres said. "They are always in demand."

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