NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) November 26, 2013 – Sailors assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) (Ike) and other volunteers gathered Nov. 19-21 to prepare Thanksgiving assistance boxes for distribution to military families.
In coordination with the Armed Services YMCA (ASYMCA), the volunteers prepared packages complete with non-perishable foods and a $15.00 voucher for the purchase of a turkey from a participating retailer.
Each year, the ASYMCA holds food drives and collects donations from the community including items ranging from boxed stuffing and gravy to canned vegetables and pumpkin bread mix.
This year, the families benefitting from the program include those of more than 120 Ike Sailors.
“Operation Holiday Joy is a great program that helps our Sailors during the holidays,” said Ike Command Master Chief Shay Langejans. “When you consider the potential cost of the holidays, travel, gifts and all the other stuff can really add up. This program helps some Sailors enjoy this time of year a little bit more.”
Information Systems Technician 1st Class David Southwell appreciated the opportunity to make his shipmates’ holiday that much more special.
“In this situation, there was a chance to give back to my fellow shipmates,” Southwell said. “Especially during this time of year, I wouldn’t have passed up the opportunity to participate.”
The Thanksgiving assistance packages are provided as part of the ASYMCA’s Operation Holiday Joy program through the ASYMCA.
For more information on the ASYMCA holiday donation programs visit http://www.asymca.org/hampton-roads-va/.