AAFES hosts appreciation event

by Staff Sgt. Nesha Humes Stanton
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Payaway the Layaway, a non-profit organization, paid more than 20 Kaiserslautern Military Community families’ layaways on Ramstein Air Base, Dec. 18, 2018. Payaway the Layaway uses donations to pay off families’ layaways before the holidays. — Photo by Senior Airman Alexis C. Schultz

The Army and Air Force Exchange Service at the Ramstein Kaiserslautern Military Community Center Exchange sought to bring in holiday cheer this season by hosting a customer service appreciation event on Ramstein Air Base, Dec. 18, 2018.

Approximately 21 KMC members were informed they were receiving a gift. It wasn’t until they were standing on stage with Sandra Reed, Ramstein KMCC main store manager, that they realized a third party non-profit organization had paid for their items on layaway.

One of the recipients, Lorraine Cochrane said the non-profit’s generosity is a big break for a lot of people.

“It makes me feel happy, very blessed, and excited,” Cochrane said. “It’s a huge weight lifted. I think it will impact my family tremendously, the kids will be very excited. It was all of their Christmas gifts.”

Jody Rose, KMC member and another gift recipient, was also excited.

“I wasn’t expecting it at all,” Rose said. “It makes me feel amazing and at ease. My Christmas shopping is done.”

Reed said this is the second year the Ramstein Exchange has partnered with the program and $2,800 was donated to the selected KMC members this year.

“It’s important because we get to team up with a great non-profit organization that they actually end up paying customers layaways,” Reed said. “It’s the season of giving, so it’s just a great opportunity for us and it’s great for the community because they get their layaways paid.”