News | Dec. 7, 2018

Agency employees share holiday spirit with their neighbors

By Tim Hoyle DLA Disposition Services

Once again Defense Logistics Agency employees in Battle Creek, Michigan, connected with the community to help those in need enjoy the holiday season through the employees’ contributions to the Salvation Army’s Adopt-A-Family program.


After weeks of collecting items on each adopted family’s wish list, volunteers delivered the many boxes of gifts and food items to the Salvation Army Worship and Community Center for distribution. DLA Disposition Services Director Mike Cannon was among the senior leaders and volunteers who came to help organize the boxes for the delivery to the intended families.


“I’m very humbled to see how generous the workforce is at the Federal Center,” Cannon said. “I walked around yesterday and virtually every office in the building had boxes out collecting things, including extras that the families had not requested to add things people thought the families might need.”


Don Phillips, DLA Installation Support at Battle Creek site director, said the operation shows how really integrated DLA activities are here. Phillips said it is “an honor to serve the Battle Creek community.”


Elli Blonde, marketing manager for the Morale, Welfare and Recreation program, coordinated the collection efforts among the different activities supporting 71 families.


“We have 134 individuals (adults and children) being assisted, and each family has a veteran,” Blonde said.


Kevin Faber, the local DLA Information Operations “mayor,” said he “really likes the idea of the community helping the community.” Ray Zingaretti, Logistics Information Services director, said the support for the campaign seems to get bigger every year and added that “the generosity of the employees is tremendous.”


Leann Gaviglio, a management assistant in DLA Installation Support, served as the delivery and volunteer coordinator, and noted that there never seems to be a problem getting enough donations.


“People will surprise you,” Gaviglio said. “Things keep pouring in, especially in the last few days.”


The Adopt-A-Family program has local roots in a partnership that began during the Korean War. At that time, the Hart-Dole-Inouye Federal Center was the Percy Jones Army Hospital. The Salvation Army identified local families and children in need and military and civilian personnel at the hospital purchased items to fill the needs. 


Tiffany Schmidt, MWR chief, looked forward to seeing this year’s families arrive to get their items.


“The best present is to see the smiles on people’s faces,” Schmidt said.