Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa Public Affairs
U.S. service members from the U.S. Army Civil Affairs Team 4903, Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa, partnered with from Camp Lemonnier’s community volunteer group to deliver school supplies and T-shirts to children at the village school here May 7.
The Community Assistance Volunteers came out to pass out school kits that we received from a non-profit group back in the United States, said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. David Hamilton, CJTF-HOA budget chief from Sumter, S.C. “The Community Assistance Volunteers is group of military members from all branches, including civilians, from Camp Lemonnier who volunteer their free time to do any type of volunteer work in the community,” he added.
Operation International Children was the group that donated the school kits. According to their website, the program gives concerned Americans a way to reach out to children in need around the world and support U.S. troops in their efforts to assist them. Working directly with troops, OIC has delivered more than a quarter-million school supply kits, along with a half-million toys and thousands of blankets, backpacks, shoes, Arabic-language books and sets of sports equipment.
The school kits distributed by the volunteers and CAT 4903 included pencils, a pack of paper, a composition notebook, scissors, an eraser and a case to hold the students’ writing utensils.
The volunteer group traveled here to make a positive influence and give the children the tools they need to help them learn, said Hamilton.
“Going out and seeing the kids and the reaction on their faces when they got the basic school supplies made a big impact,” said Hamilton.
The volunteers also took note of other supplies the school and children need so they can return with additional items.
“In the future, we plan on working with them a lot more,” said U.S. Army Spc. Jared Stephens, CAT 4903 civil affairs specialist. “They are an awesome organization.”
Stephens also said working in the joint environment really makes a difference in the local community.
To keep making that difference, Hamilton urged CJTF-HOA and camp personnel to volunteer their off-duty time in the community.
“Anybody can volunteer,” said Hamilton. “It just takes one small act.”