Aviation organizations team to support the community while building camaraderie

By DLA Aviation Public Affairs Office

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Defense Logistics Agency Aviation employees from both the Supplier Operations Original Equipment Manufacturer Directorate’s Electrical Components and Cable Division and from Planning Process Directorate’s Supply Planning Division joined together to build morale and comradery between the two groups, as well as help the local community.

“In recent years we have worked towards bridging the gap between the buyers and technicians that work with one another on a daily basis within these two directorates,” said Theresa Richardson, section chief, Supplier Operations Original Equipment Manufacturer Directorate’s Electrical Components and Cables Division.

Richardson said employees in the Supply Planning Division suggested that the two groups come together to do something for the community.  After the two groups met in April, they divided into three teams. The joint teams were chosen based on a drawing of straws to determine who would be on each 24-member team. Each team picked a different charity and had a friendly competition to see who could donate the most items for their charities. The teams decided on names based on the charity they were supporting. 

The Food Bank Team supported Downtown Churches United, Petersburg, Virginia. The Animal Shelter Team proceeds were given to four different shelters: Helping Hands, Hope Rescue, Goochland Animal Hospital and the Richmond Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The School Team collected school supplies for Baker Elementary School children in Henrico Country, Virginia, whose school was closed last year because of a fire and will reopen this fall. 

The competition ran from May until June 7 and was judged on quantity of items collected, best display and then best presentation.  The judges were Antoine Moss and Air Force Master Sergeant Gabriella Camarillo with the Customer Focused Intelligence Team, Planning Process Directorate; and Air Force Tech Sergeant Lashaundra Myers, Engineering Directorate, DLA Aviation.

Prior to collecting items, each team had to decorate a package to be presented to the charity after judging, then the quantity of items were counted. Each team chose a member to give a short speech to the judges on their project, the items collected, why, how they chose their project display and what it represents.

The combined group had a cookout June 7 which gave everyone a chance to mingle and see the displays and hear the judges’ announcements of the winners. 

There was no overall winner.  Each team won in one of the categories.

The School Team won best in quantity and collected the most items with over 800 items collected.  They collected tissues, pencils, paper, glue sticks, storage bins for class rooms, binders, notebooks, composition books, erasers, pens, pocket folders, rulers, and other school supplies 

The Animal Shelter and Food Bank Teams individually collected 500-600 items.

The best display went to the Animal Shelter Team. They collected items such as blankets, towels, food, toys, and crates, water bowels.

The Food Bank Team had the best presentation that included statistics and real life stories of the homeless and areas needing assistance. The team donated nonperishable items, canned goods, ramen noodles and soups.

Supplies collected for the food bank and animal shelter have been donated.  The School Team will deliver supplies later this summer after coordination with the school on when to bring them.

This teaming event helped bridge the gap between the material planners, technicians and buyers, and helped us get reacquainted with each other to foster better understanding on how we work together,” said Richardson.