11/11/13 — Help is needed for base families

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Help is needed for base families

By From staff reports
Published in News on November 11, 2013 1:46 PM

Wayne County paid tribute to its veterans and military community Monday with a parade and other activities in observance of Veterans Day. Now, the community has the opportunity to show its appreciation even more by helping with a food drive for needy families on Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.

As of today, the food-raising effort still needs 40 turkeys, 250 14-ounce boxes of instant mashed potatoes, and 100 15-ounce cans of corn. Other dinner fixings, such as breads, desserts and other vegetables, have been covered.

The items can be dropped off at the News-Argus office on North Berkeley Boulevard or at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church on James Street.

Time is critical since the food boxes will be packed Monday and will be distributed on Nov. 22.

Team Seymour Operation Warm Heart is being conducted by the base's first sergeants, who are working with the base squadrons to collect food for needy families. They have done an "outstanding job," but the need still exceeds what they have been able to collect, said Allan Pedersen, base liaison coordinator for the USO of North Carolina.

"Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and most of us will be spending the day with family and friends and more food than we can or should consume," Pedersen said. "At the same time, we have families here at Seymour Johnson who need assistance to have a good meal for their families.

"At this time there are almost 350 families that have been determined by their units that need help. I have not been advised, but I am sure that some of these families have a family member who is deployed."

Pedersen said the number of families is up from 225 two years ago.

"Each of us can be thankful for the blessings we have received over the years," he said. "I know that the last few years have not been easy for all of us. We have here men and women who are serving so that each of us and our families may make plans to gather and enjoy the comforts we have."

People may also make a donation, he said.

Checks should be made payable to Team Seymour Operation Warm Heart. They should be mailed to Allan D. Pedersen, Base Liaison Coordinator, USO of North Carolina, Seymour Johnson AFB, Building 3602, Room 117.

People also may call Pedersen at 919-722-7195 (office) or 919-922-5111 (cell).