Volunteers Give Back to Military Families

Photo: Military and civilian volunteers at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling move some of the 130 boxes filled with a week’s worth of food, including a complete Thanksgiving dinner and dessert, from a rental truck on Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington, D.C., Nov. 23, 2013. (U.S. Navy photo by Joseph P. Cirone/Released)

Military and civilian volunteers at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling move some of the 130 boxes filled with a week’s worth of food, including a complete Thanksgiving dinner and dessert, from a rental truck on Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington, D.C., Nov. 23, 2013. (U.S. Navy photo by Joseph P. Cirone/Released)

Story by Joseph P Cirone, Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling

Military and civilian volunteers at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling braved cold morning winds blowing across the Potomac River to help make the Thanksgiving holiday more enjoyable for 130 military families.

The 4-year-old outreach serves all five branches of the military and is spearheaded by Project Giveback, in partnership with installation volunteers and the accounting firm KPMG, LLC.

For 19 years, Project Giveback has provided Thanksgiving week meals to hundreds of families in the District of Columbia. This year 1,500 – 100 more than last – are being helped, but its help to military families is even more special.

In 2009, Edgar Jimenez of Project Giveback and Myrna Rodriguez of KPMG, LLC agreed to partner with the installation and provide a week’s worth of food, including a complete Thanksgiving dinner and dessert, two fish meals, two chicken meals, breakfast meals, fresh fruits, vegetables and dry goods.

Jimenez, a Marine Corps veteran and Rodriguez, a military spouse, know all too well about the sacrifices of military families throughout the year and the financial challenges they face, especially during the holidays.

While some 30 volunteers moved the 130 boxes of food from a large truck to the personal vehicles of military families on base and Jimenez coordinated volunteers at another Project Giveback venue, Rodriguez was busy helping her husband, a member of the Army, depart for yet another overseas deployment in support of the Defense Department’s mission and the country’s strategic goals.

By giving back something that military families can use, the outreach helps minimize the sacrifices of military families and expresses the gratitude of the non-military public for their contributions to the country, Jimenez and Rodriguez agreed.

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Volunteers Give Back to Military Families