By Airman 1st Class Jonathan Whitely | 50th Space Wing Public Affairs
SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — The 2nd and 19th Space Operations Squadrons united to lead a clothing drive May 28 — June 5, at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado.
The drive aimed to collect clothing for those in need across southwest Colorado in response to COVID-19.
“The clothing drive supports Discover Goodwill, which serves the Southwest Colorado region,” said Lt. Col. John Homrig, 19th SOPS modernization flight commander. “We saw this as an opportunity to support the local community, and the amount of support we received was overwhelming.”
The organization the Airmen are donating to provides services, education and training to more than 71,000 people in need across the state.
The drive was organized by Senior Airman Marianne Abbygail Chan, 19th SOPS GPS warfighter collaboration cell mission planner, and Senior Airman Carolina Wilkinson, 2nd SOPS GWCC mission planner. Homrig promoted the drive by reaching out to members of the GPS community.
“We are members of the local community and enjoy a lot of support in the area,” Homrig said. “Showing our appreciation simply allows us to demonstrate service before self and further strengthen our relationship within the local community. Most importantly, our effort supported a worthy cause that helps a lot of deserving people.”
The Airmen gathered more than 15 bags of donated clothes which they plan to sort, count and donate Saturday. They got word out via email, social media and word of mouth.
“No matter how tough you think your life is, there’s always someone who has to face challenges that are even tougher than yours,” Wilkinson said. “We did it to benefit the community in this time of hardship [and] create a positive relationship with the surrounding community and with our peers.”
In order to protect the health of Airmen, Schriever’s leaders deemed it necessary for units to implement minimal manning. However, leadership has authorized units to bring in up to 50% manning due to the low number of cases at the base.
“Now that measures in response to COVID-19 are becoming less restrictive, more people are coming to work,” Homrig said. “This gave us a chance to do something special together for the first time since March, to do something extra as a team and benefit the community. It was a great opportunity to support a worthwhile cause as a team.”
Additionally, the team was able to collect an estimated value of $9,300 of clothing with the help of 40 donors within the space community.
“Service before self is an Air Force Core Value for good reason, and it is something that sets us apart from the other services,” Homrig said. “Embracing it can profoundly affect things for the better. It gave me the opportunity to do something that strengthened my relationship with fellow Airmen, and it supported a lot of people requiring various types of assistance.”