POSTED: Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - 9:19pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - 9:21pm
Fort Bliss (U.S. Army) — The Soldiers and families of 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, are donating more than 6,000 pounds of non-perishable food goods to the “Feds Feed Families” program.
The 4th BCT did not have a good start to the drive. By the middle of last week they had only weighed in about 700 pounds. The commander of 4th BCT, 1st AD, Col. Terry Cook, decided the drive needed to be a priority for the brigade and issued a challenge to his Soldiers: 4,000 pounds by Friday and the entire brigade would be given a day off.
When told that the total collected was more than 6,000 pounds, Cook was not surprised by the efforts of his Soldiers.
“We are not just about our brigade, but about how we can help the local community and do something greater than this organization,” said Cook.
There were several standout incidences of Soldiers donating beyond what most of us would give ourselves. Spc. Julian Do, assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th BCT, 1st AD, took $70 of his money and purchased food items for donation.
“It was the right thing to do,” said Do “There are other people out there who really need the food and money more than I do.”
Do’s contribution seemed to be the spark that the “Highlanders” needed to push for the 4,000 pounds Cook had asked for. Donations of canned goods and large bags of rice started appearing at the 4th BCT dining facility. There, the coordination of collecting and weighing everything fell to Pfc. Class Carla Vega.
“I think this program is a good idea,” said Vega. “It’s great that we get involved in the community like this, doing this good deed.”
The Feds Feed Families program is a voluntary effort undertaken by federal employees to bring non-perishable food items to their offices for distribution to local food banks. Last year the program took in more than 7.3 million pounds, with the Department of Defense alone contributed more than 2.1 million pounds, far exceeding the 1.5 million pound goal.
“Once the message got down to the Soldier level, it was just remarkable how strong the Highlander spirit is to help others,” said Cook.
While 4th BCT did not have the highest total donation, the event showed the spirit of giving is alive and well here at Fort Bliss, and the Highlanders are a big part of it.