News: The 12 days of volunteering
Story by Sgt. Vincent Byrd
FORT BLISS, Texas - Walk into the Sierra Providence Health Network children's hospital and the first thing you notice is that it does not feel like a hospital at all. Here you will see colorful spaces, smiling children and a staff who are passionate about caring for kids. Soldiers from the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, in partnership with Serria Providence children’s hospital, volunteered to spread Christmas cheer to the children at Sierra Providence hospital Dec. 12.
The twelve days of volunteering was broken up into twelve events that each had a Christmas theme. “This is more than just a celebration or a tradition. This event is also an opportunity for the soldiers to give back to the community,” said Pfc. Fernando Cabello, Special Troops Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division.
On the first day of volunteering the children watched a Christmas movie. On the second day of volunteering they participated in Christmas crafts. On the third day of volunteering there was a toy delivery. The 2nd BCT, 1st AD, has collected more than 100 toys to donate to the hospital.
This was the first year the brigade has conducted a “12 Days of Christmas” volunteering event. “The look on my son’s face when the soldiers delivered the toys was priceless,” said Esmeralda Ramirez a parent whose child is receiving care at Sierra Providence. “It lifted his sprits and he asked me the next day ‘Mommy are the soldiers coming today?’ ”
Throughout the twelve days, soldiers filled the halls to bring cheer and happiness to the children housed in the hospital’s long-term care and who are unable to spend Christmas with their families.
The soldiers wanted the children of Sierra Providence children's hospital to know they are thinking about them. Their goal was simple: deliver toys, extra smiles and a lot of holiday cheer to the children in the hospital and show extra support and encouragement to their families.