Holiday Angel Tree program provides hope for families

by Airman 1st Class Ciara M. Travis
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

To help families in need, the Ramstein Airman & Family Readiness Center and the First Sergeants Association is hosting the Angel Tree program from now until Dec. 15 throughout the KMC. To help get patrons in the giving spirit, there was a kick-off event held Nov. 9 at the Kaiserslautern Military Community Center.

“It’s nice when we can recognize when we have been blessed and this program gives us an opportunity to give back what we’ve been blessed with,” said Brig. Gen. C.K. Hyde, 86th Airlift Wing commander, during his speech at the event.

The program here was established in 2000 to provide support to Air Force families in the KMC in need of financial assistance by purchasing gifts for their children during the holiday season. Last year, the Angel Tree program collected more than $15,000 and helped nearly 500 children.

“I feel, as first sergeants, this is what we are here to do,” said Senior Master Sgt. David Brown, FSA president. “Being part of the Air Force means we are all family and we are all here to take care of each other.”

The Angel Tree program begins with eight Christmas trees strategically placed in various locations around the KMC. The trees are located in the three main entrances of the KMCC, Vogelweh and Ramstein commissaries and shoppettes, and the A&FRC.

“The first step to getting involved would be to take an envelope from the tree, fill out the information slip attached to the envelope and then place an Army and Air Force Exchange Service or commissary gift card into the envelope and return it to the box located near the angel tree,” said Amie Satchell, A&FRC community readiness consultant. “It’s a fairly simple process, and it’s assisting families who could really use the help.”