News | Dec. 14, 2020

HDIFC employees continue holiday tradition of helping neighbors

By Jeff Landenberger

Hart-Dole-Inouye Federal Center employees once again played Santa to benefit families in Battle Creek, Michigan, area in December through the Salvation Army’s Adopt-a-Family program.

A group of four people, one of them in an Army uniform stand next to a Christmas tree in an office.
Employees of the Hart-Dole-Inouye Federal Center once again participated in the Battle Creek Salvation Army’s Adopt a Family program held each Christmas, pictured are Members of the Defense Logistics Agency Disposition Services headquarters team that collected gifts and food for a local family. From left to right; Andrew VanKoevering, Mike Cannon, director DLA Disposition Services, Army Col. Fran Taylor, deputy director DLA Disposition Services and Peter Foreman, chief of staff DLA Disposition Services.
A group of four people, one of them in an Army uniform stand next to a Christmas tree in an office.
Adopt a Family
Employees of the Hart-Dole-Inouye Federal Center once again participated in the Battle Creek Salvation Army’s Adopt a Family program held each Christmas, pictured are Members of the Defense Logistics Agency Disposition Services headquarters team that collected gifts and food for a local family. From left to right; Andrew VanKoevering, Mike Cannon, director DLA Disposition Services, Army Col. Fran Taylor, deputy director DLA Disposition Services and Peter Foreman, chief of staff DLA Disposition Services.
Photo By: Jeff Landenberger
VIRIN: 201208-D-YU183-002
The federal center’s participation is coordinated annually by the Morale, Welfare and Recreation staff of Defense Logistics Agency Installation Support and local Salvation Army representatives.

Families and individuals listed by the Salvation Army receive Christmas gifts and holiday food items.

Six people stand each wearing a mask and holding a Christmas present in an office setting.
Representing DLA Installation Management at Battle Creek, Michigan and showing a small sample of what was donated for the Adopt a Family program are Mike Hose, Tiffany Schmidt, Bill Jerome, Don Place, Chris Cleasby and Dominic Mallamo.
Six people stand each wearing a mask and holding a Christmas present in an office setting.
Adopt a Family
Representing DLA Installation Management at Battle Creek, Michigan and showing a small sample of what was donated for the Adopt a Family program are Mike Hose, Tiffany Schmidt, Bill Jerome, Don Place, Chris Cleasby and Dominic Mallamo.
Photo By: Jace Armstrong
VIRIN: 201208-D-OS362-001
"I did not know how we would do this year with so many of us working from home,” said Tiffany Schmidt, the chief MWR and volunteer coordinator. “It was a challenge, but the employees of the federal center really came through. So many stepped up to ensure that our neighbors will have a Merry Christmas."

For many at HDI, Adopt-A-Family is a holiday tradition.

After more than 25 years of participating in the program, Connie Ehredt of DLA Information Operations said this would be her last time participating as a federal employee; by next Christmas, she will be retired but plans to continue participating with her family.

A woman stands next to a hand cart loaded with donated food and gifts for a family.
Becky White-Edwards delivers the gifts and food her office at the HDI FC collected for the family they adopted through the Salvation Army’s Adopt a Family program.
A woman stands next to a hand cart loaded with donated food and gifts for a family.
Adopt a Family
Becky White-Edwards delivers the gifts and food her office at the HDI FC collected for the family they adopted through the Salvation Army’s Adopt a Family program.
Photo By: Jeff Landenberger
VIRIN: 201209-D-YU183-017
“My family has been involved throughout all of it,” Ehredt said. “They have worked down here when I did the sorting inside and outside, my daughter helps with the shopping, they have all helped with the unloading, wrapping, and boxing, so it’s been a big family tradition for me.”

U.S. Army Col. Fran Taylor moved to Battle Creek this year and serves as the deputy director for DLA Disposition Services. When she heard of the program, she said she knew it was something she would want to be a part of.

“This is a long tradition at the federal center; and we like to give back to those who are in need,” Taylor said. “We appreciate the opportunity to provide [recipients] with the things [they] need for this holiday season.”

A young boy pulls a hand cart with packages of food and gifts stacked on it towards a door going into a building
Ty Schmidt, the son of a HDI FC employee, volunteers his time to move donated food and gifts collected during the Adopt a Family program to brighten a families Christmas.
A young boy pulls a hand cart with packages of food and gifts stacked on it towards a door going into a building
Adopt a Family
Ty Schmidt, the son of a HDI FC employee, volunteers his time to move donated food and gifts collected during the Adopt a Family program to brighten a families Christmas.
Photo By: Jeff Landenberger
VIRIN: 201209-D-YU183-010
Salvation Army Maj. Kevin Van Zee, commander of the Battle Creek location, said the pandemic made this year a challenge, but the organization remained open as an essential service.

“We were thrilled this year when the federal center was still able to jump in and help with Christmas,” Van Zee said adding that while this is his fourth year in Battle Creek, the Salvation Army has served the community for more than 130 years.