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Operation Christmas Drop packed and ready

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Courtney Witt
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
Volunteers from Andersen AFB and the local community participated in the final boxbuild here Dec. 5 for Operation Christmas Drop, the Air Force's longest on-going humanitarian airlift mission.

Over 12 tons of items have been donated from various groups and individuals from Guam and surrounding areas.

The volunteers ensured each box contained donations to include; non-perishable food items, clothing, medical supplies, tools, toys and much more.

In all, more than 50 boxes were built and placed on pallets with the pallets weighing 400-500 pounds each.

Through military and local community support, the OCD organization has collected tens of thousands of donated items and raised more than $10,000 through donations and fundraising efforts since they began the 2009 campaign in August.

Operation Christmas Drop is a non-profit organization powered by volunteers from Andersen Air Force Base and the local Guam community. Each year, the two join forces to aid the people of smaller islands that do not have airstrips or major ports. Islands that will be reached are Chuuk, Palau, Yap, Marshall Islands, and Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands effecting more than 30,000 islanders.

"There is a big intrinsic value knowing that you helped 30,000 with little effort," said Capt. Charles Schulz, 734th Air Mobility Command maintenance officer. "There [are] a lot of folks from Andersen, Navy and Guam residents that come and help get everything together. The amount of people that help with a small effort but offer a big impact, each individual should take pride in knowing they actually helped put as many people as they did."

Representatives from the local community and members from Andersen AFB will join together for the Push Ceremony that is scheduled for Dec. 15 at 9:00 a.m. at Hangar 6, where they will load boxes onto the C-130 aircraft. The air drops are scheduled to beginĀ  Dec. 16 and run through Dec. 19.

"A special thanks to all who volunteered and donated, especially our platinum donors: The Rotary Club of Tumon, The Andersen Officers'Spouses Club, Payless, The Naval Officers' Spouses Collection, Andersen AFB Chapel, and Hawaiian Rock," Capt. Shultz.

For more information about Operation Christmas Drop, visit www.christmasdrop.com.

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