Members of Operation Warmheart give back, provide holiday cheer for less-fortunate Airmen
By Staff Sgt. Christopher Stoltz, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Public Affairs
/ Published December 17, 2015
JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM -- Each year, the holiday season brings joyous times, thoughts of gifts and for some, a slightly-larger waistline. However, for some Airmen and their families, the holidays induce a sense of stress, thoughts of past-due bills and worries of if they will be able to provide their families the holiday season they deserve.
Whether it is struggling with the budget to provide their families a quality holiday meal, put presents under the Christmas tree, or even owning a Christmas tree at all, some Airmen find the holiday season stressful with the costs it often brings.
To help Airmen throughout the area, members from Operation Warmheart worked throughout the year on the Angel Tree program, which provides monetary assistance and gifts to those within the Air Force.
“The Angel Tree program here on Hickam is a part of Operation Warmheart and supported by Hickam Federal Credit Union Bank,” Master Sgt. Jacob Davidson, first sergeant, 647th Civil Engineering squadron. “Essentially, we as First Sergeants, have unique access to our Airmen who may be in need. We work with our Squadron leadership around Base and gather the names of those that could most use the help during the Holiday season.”
Davidson, along with MSgt. Marcel Colombo, Senior Master Sgt. Harold Frithsen and SMSgt. James Hart are in charge of the JBPHH Angel Tree Program, which has been assisting Airmen since 2000.
Davidson said Operation Warmheart is available all year to provide assistance for Airmen, whether it is a no interest loan, grant or something as simple as a gift card. The program received nearly $4,000 in donations in 2015.
As the president of Operation Warmheart, MSgt. Davidson worked along with the Hickam Federal Credit Union and Alvah Scott Elementary School to donate thousands of dollars in gifts to make the holidays merrier for the select Airmen and their families.
Davidson recalled his trip to the elementary school and said he was in awe to see children practicing an impressive-feat of generosity; donating gifts to people they have never met.
“Over the last month, these children had gone class to class at their school, requesting books to be donated, collecting 900,” said Davidson. “With their new-found mass of books, they turned around and sold them during a book fair, selling each for 50-cents each, raising $450 total. At that point, 24 toy-crazy eight-year olds managed to march over to a local toy store and purchase 24 gifts for Airmen and families-in-need.”
Davidson said their act of altruism was humbling and the future looks bright with children as generous as the ones who donated to the program this holiday season.
“These programs fall right into the wheel house of every First Sergeant that has ever sewn on the Diamond,” said Davidson. “It goes directly back to the morale and welfare of our Airmen and their families. The more people we can touch with programs like Operation Warmheart or Angel Tree, the better off the Air Force will be as an institution.”
For more information about Operation Warmheart, or to donate, contact MSgt. Davidson at 448-2703.