Community comes together to help a family rebuild their life
After a local military family, the Batts, lost their home in a recent fire that claimed all of their belongings, the Army’s Army, the world’s only volunteer organization of citizens and businesses who’ve pledged their moral, physical and spiritual support to those in military, stepped-up to help this family in their time of need. The Army’s Army notified their 1,000+ members about the emergency and members quickly got involved, donating items such as gift cards and household appliances – one Army’s Army member even went as far organizing a “Penny Drive” at Irwin Intermediate School on Fort Bragg where she teaches to help raise money.
“After learning about the Batts family’s emergency and hearing the terrible news, I thought, how can I get involved? One of my fifth grade students, Camy Bass, who previously organized a fundraiser for Haiti earthquake victims, came to mind, and I thought she’d like to get involved. I reached out to her as well as school administrators to see if we could start a school wide ‘Penny Drive’ fundraiser,” says Martha Gabriel, Army’s Army member and teacher at Irwin Intermediate School.
All students in fifth and sixth grade at Irwin Intermediate School will participate in the two-week-long fundraiser from May 26 through June 9, 2010. Students will receive manila envelopes to collect pennies and other currency. One jar will be located in a heavily trafficked area, the cafeteria for maximum exposure. Students have designed posters to distribute on the school grounds to spread awareness for the “Penny Drive.” The school is also sending home a flyer to parents to solicit additional donations for the “Penny Drive.” A check will be presented to the Batts family at the conclusion of the fundraiser.
“I’d like to give thanks to Fayetteville’s First Lady Joanne Chavonne, an Army’s Army member who instinctively notified community interest groups including the Army’s Army Executive Director of Operations Janine West that the Batts family was in urgent need. West then rallied the Army’s Army members to help with this community effort. This is a perfect example of the ways in which Fayetteville/Cumberland County supports military families in America’s First Military Sanctuary Community,” says John Meroski, chairman of the Army’s Army.
Recognized by Time magazine as the most pro-military town in America, Fayetteville/ Cumberland County continues to demonstrate its support and appreciation for those in uniform.