News: Donations from a distance
Story by Sgt. Jarred Woods
BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan – Soldiers and Department of the Army Defense civilians are notorious for volunteering their time and efforts for causes bigger than themselves. It comes as no surprise, even in the midst of a war zone; those that serve our nation are willing to go above and beyond.
Susan Kastner, a security specialist, with the 401st Army Field Support Brigade, 1st Sustainment Command (Theater), and long-time supporter of charities, has been collecting pop can tabs for the Ronald McDonald House of Eastern North Carolina here. Kastner’s efforts are part of RMH’s "Cans for Kids" program.
“This is the little thing that I can do to make a difference, and it’s just an easy thing to do,” said Kastner. “I’m really excited about this because I know so many kids will benefit from it.”
Kastner has placed boxes for the tabs at several dining facilities at BAF, as well as in her office. The decision to donate to the RMH was inspired from a personal family crisis in which the RMH graciously provided indispensable support.
“My cousin’s baby had to stay in the hospital, which was more than two hours away, shortly after birth,” added Kasnter. “The RMH provided for their needs so they could stay near the hospital and not have to travel or worry about expenses.”
Kastner is no stranger to giving back, no matter where she happens to find herself. When she was in Germany working as a security supervisor, she also collected tabs for her son. Later on, when she was working at Fort Bragg, N.C., she continued to collect tabs that would eventually make their way to support the cancer ward at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center in Fayetteville, N.C.
Even during Kastner’s early twenties, as a taxi driver in her hometown of Fayetteville, she felt the importance of helping those in need.
“The taxi company had a program that would give free rides for people who had to go to dialysis and other medical treatments,” said Kastner.
Whether it’s recycling pop can tabs, donating time or giving money to a worthy charity, anything someone does to help the community benefits everyone in some way or another.
“Any little thing that someone can do to help the community is a wonderful thing,” said Manuel Rios, a senior food service supervisor with Fluor Food Service here. “I wish that everybody would get together and do whatever little bit they can around the world; a lot of people don’t.”
“Try to help out and do what you can, no matter how little it is. What we do together can become a part of something bigger,” added Rios.