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."