12/28/08 — SJAFB's angel tree gave Christmas to 150-plus

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SJAFB's angel tree gave Christmas to 150-plus

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on December 28, 2008 2:00 AM

More than 150 military children experienced Christmas mornings they might otherwise not have had Thursday, thanks to acts of kindness that spread across Seymour Johnson Air Force Base and outside the gates.

4th Fighter Wing 1st Lt. Lori Bartz said 153 children -- twice last year's total -- were on the receiving end of $9,000 in gifts raised over the past several weeks.

The initiative, spearheaded by the airman for the second consecutive year, aimed to help those families impacted by a troubled economy.

"What a great angel tree we had this year," the lieutenant said, attributing the success of the project to those who volunteered time and money for children they would likely never know.

Like members of the Family of Faith Church congregation -- which purchased gifts for 15 children and provided food baskets to the seven families they belonged to.

Or the Goldsboro Family YMCA, which made sure two "exceptional" families with hospitalized children got $500 gift certificates to help ease the financial burden associated with medical bills.

And then there were the base clubs -- donating wrapping paper and the volunteers to use it.

Truly a team effort, Mrs. Bartz said.

One that she hopes to see renewed at Seymour Johnson every Christmas -- for the youngest warriors.