Thanks to the generosity of Defense Logistics Agency employees in the McNamara Headquarters Complex, 113 children from 37 families received Christmas gifts in 2017, as part of the annual DLA Adopt-a-Family program.
The program is administered by the Command Chaplain’s Office, led by Chaplain (Army Col.) Carleton Birch. He recalled that about three weeks before Christmas 10 families needed to be “adopted.” Birch put out a message to the workforce, and by the end of that same day, there was a waiting list of people wanting to adopt, he said.
In fact, one day saw so many gifts delivered that they nearly blocked the entrance to the suite, shared by Deputy Chaplain (Army Maj.) Demetrius Walton and Army Staff Sgt. John Edmisten, who helped Birch manage families’ wish lists, contact families and coordinate deliveries.
After the Christmas holiday, the parents of children receiving gifts expressed to the Chaplain’s Office their profound gratitude to all who contributed.
One parent wrote: “I was hesitant to submit my family because we have so many children, but am glad I did. We are extremely grateful for all that was purchased and enjoyed Christmas that much more because of the spirit and good will from all of those involved! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!”
Another family said that their son “really liked the clothes, boots, gift cards, and toys that he received. … I am so grateful from the bottom of my heart, and I really hope that you all know just how much you impacted my son’s holiday. I couldn’t have done it without any of you and am so thankful for the opportunity that was given to my son to be adopted within the DLA organization.
Birch likewise has an appreciation of the spirit of giving at DLA. “The thing that constantly amazes me with this program is the overwhelming support from DLA employees,” he said. “DLA employees are very generous and just want to give back.”