News: CSS supports DoD families, kick off Caring and Sharing Program
Story by Chief Petty Officer Shawn Graham
NEWPORT, R.I. (NNS) -- Center for Service Support (CSS) and Naval Station Newport (NWPT) commands kicked off voluntary food and monetary donations Nov. 14 for the Caring and Sharing Program (CSP) that assists Department of Defense (DoD) employees and their families that may need assistance this holiday season, Nov. 14.
CSP was launched in the early 1990s. Sailors assigned to commands attached to NWPT are providing voluntary support for this program which will be conducted through Dec. 18.
Command representatives and volunteers will collect donations. The items collected around NWPT will be placed into gift boxes and presented to sailors and civilian families who have requested assistance.
Senior Chief Logistics Specialist (AW/SW) Chaddrake Lavallais, logistics specialist training manager said that with the support from the local military community, and others, CSP is not just a possibility, but a viable resource to sailors, Marine, soldiers, airmen and civilian employees seeking assistance.
"The food boxes will contain all of the products for a complete meal including a turkey," said Lavallais, a native of Marksville, La. "This program will help our sailors celebrate the holidays with their families by alleviating some of the financial stress."
"It's important for leaders to get the word out to every command," said Lavallais. "We are fighting this fight together. We should support one another every day and not just through the holidays. There are a lot of programs that give back to the community, but this is our way of giving back to our own. Leaders should canvas their commands and nominate sailors or staff members who need support. Sailors should not feel ashamed to receive assistance. We are all in this together and this is the time to give back."
Command Master Chief (SW/SCW/AW) Ray Rosado said that CSP is a great tool to promote team mates helping team mates.
"Military families sometimes need a helping hand," said Rosado. "Some families cannot afford a traditional holiday meal. This program offers a helping hand to those who would like their families to enjoy the holiday season. This program draws on our spirit of giving and I am extremely proud of those who support and donate to the program as well as those who request the help. Every DoD family should have a memorable experience and meal for their family."
"We also encourage sailors with dependents to explore the Family Subsistence Supplemental Allowance (FSSA) Program," said Rosado.
FSSA was designed to bring eligible service members' gross household income to 130 percent of the federal poverty line as established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The program is available for sailors stationed in the United States and overseas. Members may be eligible for up to $1,100 per month.
"It's an important program for our sailors who have families," said Rosado. "No one who serves their country should have to choose between feeding their families and keeping utilities on. Leaders throughout the fleet should tout this program and ask their sailors the correct questions. It's our duty to inform them about these programs. The women and men who serve our military are our most important resource."
CSS and its learning sites provide sailors with the knowledge and skills needed to support the fleet's warfighting mission. More than 300 staff and faculty work hand-in-hand with the fleet and are dedicated to ensure training is current and well executed on behalf of 10,000 sailors who graduate from CSS courses annually in the administration, logistics and media communities.
To learn more about FSSA, read NAVADMIN 292/12 and visit https://www.dmdc.osd.mil/fssa/ to determine eligibility and review application procedures.
For more news from Center for Service Support, visit www.navy.mil/local/css/.