By Sgt. Elizabeth Harris | 4th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs Office, 4th Infantry Division
FORT CARSON, Colo. — ’Tis the season for giving back to the community. This year, instead of rocking around the Christmas tree, 4th Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, Soldiers and their Families ruck marched around Butts Army Airfield with toys filled in their ruck sacks Dec. 6.
The Soldiers and their Families walked about two miles around the airfield, dropping off the donated toys. Awaiting the toys’ arrival were two CH-47 Chinooks, which were part of a training exercise. From there, the Soldiers loaded the donated toys onto the aircraft.
“I donated two hockey sticks,” said Staff Sgt. Kevin Kersch, platoon sergeant with Headquarters Support Company, 404th Aviation Support Battalion, 4th CAB. “I always enjoy helping kids less fortunate.”
Once the toys were loaded on the aircraft, they were flown from the airfield to Pershing Field on the main post.
Soldiers and volunteers from Mountain Post Santa’s Workshop (MPSW) patiently waited for the toys to arrive to begin unloading the boxes. After the pallets were taken off the aircraft, the boxes were put on a palletized load system and taken to the MPSW facility for sorting.
“We were all thinking we would get two or three boxes,” said April Barnett, MPSW president when the event was being planned. “They donated more than we ever anticipated.”
In all, 4th CAB Soldiers and their Families delivered about 11 boxes with about 2,148 toys.
“It goes to show the Soldiers really do support the ones beside them,” said Barnett. “It really means a lot to us.”
The MPSW’s purpose is to provide donated gifts to children of military Families in financial need. Many recipients would not have the opportunity to receive gifts during the holiday season without the supporters and donors.
When the MPSW opens, volunteers and people who donated toys have the chance to come together to the kickoff event and assist with the event. Last year, nearly 600 Families and 1,100 children received toys from the workshop.