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Team Andersen shares interests and abilities through volunteering

(U.S. Air Force graphic by Staff Sgt. Benjamin Gonsier)

(U.S. Air Force graphic by Staff Sgt. Benjamin Gonsier)

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam --

During 2015, Team Andersen contributed a total of 31,567 volunteer hours to both the Andersen and Guam community. 

Andersen Airmen participated in volunteer opportunities and in the local community for events such as Operation Christmas Drop 2015 by assisting in sorting and packaging donated items and supporting the 39th Special Olympics Guam Track and Field Competition. In addition, they assisted with customer service at the Guam United Service Organizations, engaged in administrative tasks at the Airman’s Attic and provided food for the homeless at the Dededo Soup Kitchen.

“I think it’s important to give back to the community, because we’re a part of the community,” said Tech. Sgt. Tianna Weymer, 36th Medical Support Squadron NCO in charge of diagnostic imaging. “We live here, so we’re all a community together. I think it should be a group effort, so part of that is helping one another.”

When it comes to helping out in the community, Airmen find many opportunities ranging from painting bus stops to volunteering at schools. Airmen such as Senior Airman Ameka Mmoh, 36th Wing Public Affairs broadcast journalist, took on the vital position of a role model by volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, a program that allows individuals to mentor local youth.

“My role models at home and in school helped nurture me into the person I am today and I always knew that I wanted to find a way to pay that forward,” Mmoh said.  “I saw the program as a great way to do that, because it focused on building a lasting relationship between bigs and littles (sisters). It's nice being able to hear and see how my presence in my little sister’s life has had such an impact on her in just the span of a year. I know our bond is something that will last a lifetime and that's one of the best and most rewarding things I could ever ask for.”

Individual and team efforts are important throughout the community, in everything from schools, to sports, to cultural, charitable, religious and civic activities. Having an interest, talent or ability that can be shared can be used to better oneself and their community through volunteering.

Airman 1st Class Steven Golden, a 36th Civil Engineer Squadron electrical power production technician, used his passion of the outdoors and the island to create events for Andersen Airmen to get out and explore Guam.

“Encouraging and showing Airmen the importance of getting out in the community and exploring the island, in my opinion, is much healthier for their body, mind and spirit versus staying home for the majority of their tour,” Golden said. “Whether my adventures lead them on exhilarating hikes with water falls, learning the fundamentals of surfing or pushing their limits by crawling through narrow passages of Guam's caves, they come to understand the rejuvenating power of nature.”

The hard work and dedication of Andersen volunteers doesn’t go unnoticed. The Airman and Family Readiness Center is hosting a Volunteer Recognition Ceremony at the Coral Reef Fitness Center on April 28, 2016 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

“We hold this ceremony to express appreciation to Andersen volunteers by way of highlighting their self-less work that is in addition to the military mission,” said Hope Cortez, 36th Force Support Squadron life specialist. “It will also empower others to take an active role in making change within our community.”

Anyone interested in learning about available volunteer opportunities can contact the Airman and Family Readiness Center at 366-8136.