Vicenza Military Community Volunteers Help Celebrate Holidays During COVID-19 | Item
VICENZA, Italy – Just a week before Christmas, several volunteers from different organizations in Vicenza’s military community offered to help ensure new community members celebrate the holidays despite their quarantine while meeting mitigation requirements of COVID-19.
About 20 volunteers from 12 different organizations and agencies came together to bring some holiday cheer to new members of the local community.
“The overwhelming desire of community agencies and members to help quarantined people while on vacation has been incredible,” said Amy Cates, Community Readiness and Resilience Integrator (CR2).
“Our group has worked hard in the hope that these people will feel welcome in Vicenza, happy to be here to feel a bit of holiday spirit despite the circumstances and in the hope that they will know that their new community cares about them, ”she continued.
Their volunteering focuses on three main dates and different locations starting December 18 with the decoration and delivery of Christmas trees, cards and stockings to soldiers and families quarantined at the Army’s family accommodation. Villaggio.
On December 24, stockings will be delivered to some members of the quarantined community, and on Christmas Day, fully cooked holiday meals prepared and delivered to all those in quarantine in Villaggio; Finally, take-out holiday meals for all who come to the USO will be provided on Christmas Day from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
As already happened for Thanksgiving Day, agencies involved in preparing and delivering take-out meals and other safe dining opportunities for the military community in Vicenza included the Commander’s Readiness and Resilience Council. ; Better opportunities for single soldiers; OSU; Religious support office; Sergeant Morales Club; and the Vicenza Community Club.
“About 25 community members will receive these deliveries in Villaggio and around 100 community members in building 180,” Cates added.
BOSS recently participated in similar initiatives by helping deliveries to Villaggio.
“I am proud to be part of this initiative along with other organizations in the garrison. It shows the value of community during the holiday season. said the president of BOSS SPC. Jessica Padilla.
BOSS Advisor Sgt. Joseph Nuttall echoed Padilla and stressed the importance of helping the community during this Christmas time.
“The military communities are strong and we are staying together even for a time like 2020,” he said.
This year has presented many challenges, according to Joy Marin, American Red Cross regional program manager for the garrison.
“We are grateful to our community of Vicenza, as well as our supporters in the United States, for collecting and sending almost 2,000 cards for our members in Vicenza and Darby Service,” she said.
“It is heartwarming to see the love and support within our community this holiday season.”
Marin explained that the American Red Cross has long shared the joy of the holidays with members of the Service.
“Our Holidays for Heroes program allows volunteers and community members to ‘give something that makes sense,’ she added.
Other volunteers, members of the Sergeant Morales Club (SMC) took part in the events, including decorating and delivering Christmas trees to families in quarantine.
“We helped decorate the trees in the quarantine building [Building 180] with ornaments made by the children of this wonderful community, ”said Emily Coyle.
“Looking at these ornaments, you could feel the love these children have in sharing their merry Christmas spirits,” she said.
“It was my first time volunteering and I enjoyed every minute of it. Through volunteer work, you not only help the community, but you also gain the opportunity to spend time with other volunteers who uphold the highest ideals of integrity, professionalism and leadership. Giving back to the community will arouse feelings of pure joy, not a moment of wasted time, ”she continued.
She also added that being abroad, away from her family and having movement restrictions makes it a slight challenge to be completely happy this holiday season.
“Sergeant Morales Club wanted to help make it less difficult,” Coyle said.
Casey Dugan, also volunteered with other members of the SMC.
“I can only imagine how difficult it must be to stay in quarantine during the holiday season, away from friends and family. I know decorating the trees is a very small contribution, but I hope what the volunteers of the Sergeant Morales Club have been able to shed a little light on and encourage the soldiers who are spending the holidays in a very unfortunate situation, ”he said. -he declares.
Dugan believes it is extremely important to volunteer during this time of year.
“I can only hope that the very small role I play in volunteering with the Sergeant Morales Club helps make a positive impact on the morale of at least one person during these difficult times as they are far from home. family, ”he said.
Sgt. 1st Class Nicholas Razzano, president of the SMC of the US Army Garrison in Italy, also feels the importance of helping others.
“Serving the soldiers and families of the Vicenza military community is a privilege. We are fortunate to be part of this small community, which relies on partnership and leadership involvement, especially in these difficult times, ”said Razzano.