News: Fort Bliss, El Paso Communities join forces for volunteer project
Story by Sgt. Terence Ewings
EL PASO, Texas - Fort Bliss soldiers and volunteers from El Paso, Texas, participated in various community service projects around the city on Sept. 8, in honor of the 9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance.
The Fort Bliss Army Volunteer Corps coordinated and supervised the volunteers throughout the day as they worked to clean, build and better the El Paso community in commemoration of the events that occurred on Sept. 11, 2001.
“In honor of the National Day of Service, we are volunteering to not only make a difference, but to honor and remember those who were effected by the terrorist attacks on 9/11,” said Sgt. Desiree Hernandez, a supply sergeant and squad leader assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 86th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, 15th Sustainment Brigade.
Throughout the day, participants worked together and volunteered their services at varying areas around El Paso such as the humane society, adult protective services center and zoo.
While volunteering at the humane society, Hernandez, and other soldiers from her company worked to remove debris, growth and weeds from a water collection area located behind the facility for the future construction of a dog playground.
“I like being able to give back to the community we’re living in,” said Hernandez, a native of Terrebonne, Ore. “The El Paso community is always reaching out and supporting us as Soldiers, so it’s nice to be able to lend our services to them too.”
Like most of the day’s projects, it was not uncommon to see civilian organizations and military units working hand-in-hand to complete their assigned volunteer taskings. However, some organizations had members present that were representing both groups during the event.
Sgt. 1st Class Patricia Coleman, a senior enlisted advisor assigned to the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, was representing both “Team Bliss” and the University of El Paso’s Zeta Phi Beta Sorority.
“Like most sororities we believe it is highly important to give back and we try to volunteer as often as possible,” said Coleman, a native of Tampa, Fla.
Volunteers from Coleman’s military unit and members of the sorority assisted in a spring-cleaning type project at the El Paso Zoo. Both organizations worked together to clean and refurbish service areas to make the zoo a safer and cleaner place for the entire El Paso community.
“It was very unique and exciting to have both groups seamlessly work together for a good cause,” said Coleman. “We also had a lot of fun doing it.”
To volunteer for future events that support the Fort Bliss and El Paso community, you can visit http://www.blissmwr.com/volunteer/ or sign-up at the Fort Bliss ACS center, Bldg. 2494 Ricker Road.