RICHMOND, VA –
On any given day, the bays at the fire department on Defense Supply Center Richmond, Virginia, are normally filled with giant red fire trucks and other emergency vehicles. But, once a year for a two-hour time frame on a pre-selected day in December, this year it was the 12th, children’s bikes and brightly wrapped Christmas gifts transform the bays into a Santa’s workshop as part of the 2019 Angel Tree program.
Chicnee Brown, command support analyst and executive support to commander, Office of the Commander, Defense Logistics Agency Aviation, said she adopted two elementary and one high school student.
“I love the Angel Tree program and usually go slightly overboard with buying everything my angels ask for,” she said.
Brown admitted going overboard meant spending close to $500 on gifts, but she said that was a small price to pay to make sure those three angels she adopted didn’t experience the same disappoint on Christmas morning that she did growing up.
“When I was a child on many occasions, I did not receive any gifts for Christmas. I know what it feels like to wake up on Christmas morning and not have any presents under the tree,” she said.
Amy Clement, public affairs chief, DLA Aviation said during this year’s campaign, DSCR employees like Brown adopted 129 students, ranging in age from preschoolers at G.H. Reid Elementary in Richmond and Bensley and Bellwood Elementary schools in Chesterfield to seniors at Meadowbrook High School, also in Chesterfield.
She said while her public affairs staff put in countless hours preparing for the event, it was the hard work and dedication from the DLA Installation Management Richmond’s Fire and Emergency Services personnel, as well as other volunteers including Pam Fredrick, change management specialist, Career Development Branch, Command Support Directorate and Joseph Franklin, chief, Order Fulfillment Division, Business Process Support Directorate, both from DLA Aviation, that made the day go off without a hitch.
“I can’t thank them enough. They were amazing. It was all hands on deck. They helped unload gifts and passed out winter and holiday safety information,” she said.
Sparky, the Fire Dog, also made an appearance, and along with installation firefighters, handed out goodie bags to those dropping off gifts.
Clement said donations exceeded more than 1,000 gifts.
Terri Parker, program manager, Fusion Operations Division, Customer Operations Directorate, DLA Aviation, adopted a kindergarten angel from Bensley Elementary.
“It was an awesome feeling to imagine the look on this little angel's face. I wanted her to know that someone other than a family member or friend cares about her,” she said.