by Tech. Sgt. Kerri Spero
102nd Intelligence Wing Public Affairs
8/28/2015 - OTIS AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Mass. -- More
than 350 school-age children received backpacks filled with school
supplies this weekend during the annual 102nd Intelligence Wing
Back-to-School backpack giveaway.
Organized by the Otis Civilian Advisory Council, approximately 60,000
school supplies were donated by several Cape Cod vendors to the Joint
Base Cape Cod military community.
Because most items were delivered in containers, dozens of JBCC
community volunteers assembled and filled the backpacks during an event,
August 19. Volunteers included retirees, active military personnel,
civilians and families.
"It was a terrific to see all the OCAC volunteers when they were
stuffing the bags and be able to share our great appreciation for their
time," said Erin Creighton, 102nd Airman and Family Readiness Program
The variety of items donated include rulers to calculators, notebooks,
pens, pencils, binders, book covers, glue and numerous other items,
including brand new backpacks. The 102 IW received approximately 350
backpacks out of the 2,500 donated to the JBCC community. The remaining
backpacks will be distributed to children of Coast Guard Air Station
Cape Cod, Camp Edwards, and the 6th Space Warning Squadron.
"This is a good program for all the military kids in the wing," said
Creighton, "The families of wing members receive a backpack for every
school-age child from K-12. And this year we had a tremendous amount of
support from OCAC that we were able to give the school-age children up
to 20 items."
"Parents and children love this program. It started out very small and
has grown substantially in the last three years," said Don Cox, OCAC
president, "Anything we can do to help them out is an enjoyable
When asked about the volunteers, Cox said "I think they're fabulous.
Between [the OCAC] membership, the Civil Air Patrol, the Coast Guard
Auxiliary, and many other people from the base that come out and help
every time we hold a community-driven event. It's incredible."
In previous years, the 102nd Airman and Family Readiness Program Office
organized the event and participation was limited only to 102 IW
members. Because the program has grown to support the entire JBCC
community, the OCAC has graciously taken over the logistics and
operation of the distribution process. This year, 102 IW first sergeants
have collected the pre-filled bags and will distribute to their unit
members accordingly during the August Unit Training Assembly.
"I will miss being able to see everyone on the hangar floor this year,
but the distribution change will allow more families to receive the
backpacks with less impact to the day." said Creighton. "As always, the
Airman and Family Readiness Office likes feedback. I'm looking forward
to hear how the program changes were received."
We hope all of the children are excited to receive their backpacks just in time to go back to school next week.
To receive your child's backpack, please contact your unit's first sergeant.