News: Giving back to military families to say thanks
Story by Joseph P Cirone
WASHINGTON – Military and civilian volunteers at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling (JBAB) braved cold morning winds blowing across the Potomac River to help make the holiday more enjoyable for 130 military families.
The 4-year-old outreach serves all five branches of the military and is spearheaded by Project Giveback, in partnership with volunteers from JBAB and the accounting firm KPMG, LLC.
For 19 years, Project Giveback has provided Thanksgiving week meals to hundreds of families in the District of Columbia. This year 1,500 - 100 more than last - are being helped, but its help to military families is even more special.
In 2009, Edgar Jimenez of Project Giveback and Myrna Rodriguez of KPMG, LLC agreed to partner with JBAB and provide a week’s worth of food, including a complete Thanksgiving dinner and dessert, two fish meals, two chicken meals, breakfast meals, fresh fruits, vegetables and dry goods.
Jimenez, a Marine Corps veteran and Rodriguez, a military spouse, know all too well about the sacrifices of military families throughout the year and the financial challenges they face, especially during the holidays.
While some 30 volunteers at JBAB moved the 130 boxes of food from a large truck to the personal vehicles of military families and Jimenez coordinated volunteers at another Project Giveback venue, Rodriguez was busy helping her husband, a member of the Army, depart for yet another overseas deployment in support of the Department of Defense’s mission and the country’s strategic goals.
By giving back something that military families can use, the outreach helps minimize the sacrifices of military families and expresses the gratitude of the non-military public for their contributions to the country, Jimenez and Rodriguez agreed.