News: NMLC Welcomes Lincoln Elementary Students Back to School with Donations
Story by Julius Evans
FREDERICK, Md. - Naval Medical Logistics Command (NMLC), a tenant command on Fort Detrick, continued its tradition of donating school supplies to a local elementary school Aug. 25, in Frederick, Md.
As thousands of children returned to classes this week, at Lincoln Elementary School, many of them will receive a wonderful welcome-back memento that will contribute to their all-important goal of learning.
Command personnel began collecting items for donation to the school several weeks prior to the return to class in anticipation of providing the school supplies. The partnership with NMLC dates back more than five years and many see it as a way to continue giving back to the community.
“Interacting with the community is one of the most important ways military members can serve at home. We are able to show these children that the military isn't just about fighting wars overseas, but that we support our communities as well,” said Operations Specialist 2nd Class Blair Dial, NMLC’s Alternate Security Manager. “With the large amount of items contributed from NMLC's military and civilian personnel, we were able to provide dozens of backpacks full of school supplies, and a number of other important items the children might have otherwise gone without.”
Many of those who made donations also had to shop for their own children returning to school, but felt it was important to contribute to Lincoln Elementary because they believe their donations will have a positive impact.
“It is always important to give back. We all share the same resources on so many levels, including taxes, merchants, etc. But all we don’t have the same personal resources,” said Rachel Pardo, an NMLC Management and Program Analyst, Research and Services Contract Division. “As a Federal employee, we are fortunate to be educated, well employed and in a great place in life. I owe a lot for the good that I have. I am very cognizant that it could be all gone in the blink of an eye. But by donating and spending my gifts of time, talents and treasures, I lessen the debt.”
Although one might not think the contributions they give are significant, the school representative countered that notion.
“This year, the students were waiting patiently to receive the donations from Naval Medical Logistics Command. They have come to trust and rely on the annual gifts,” said Ms. Marta Droddy, Lincoln Elementary School Teacher Specialist for Title 1. “We have a number of children who do not have book bags, amongst other things, so these donations will have a tremendous impact. We know these donations will make a difference in our students’ lives.”
In addition to making a difference in a child’s life, those who gave have a deep appreciation for the concept of giving. They are aware that it doesn’t take much to have an impact on someone and by simply making a purchase and donating it does help a child to be better prepared for the school year.
“I believe it is important to give because we are investing in the future of our community. The children were waiting patiently to receive these supplies so this shows they had faith that we were going to help them again,” said Hospital Corpsmen 1st Class Tamba Sebba, NMLC’s Leading Petty Officer. “I participate because of the joy giving brings my heart. The children cannot repay for the services rendered but their unfeigned appreciation speaks to hearts.”
Sebba also wanted to share a special note to others who may consider donating in the future. “I want the readers to know that NMLC is the only command that endeavors year after year to reach out to Lincoln Elementary School. The staff and children of Lincoln Elementary School were very happy to receive the supplies and the donations truly have a tremendous impact.”
While the donations might have an impact on the children’s learning, another person who made a donation expressed a more personal note on why he decided to make a charitable donation to the elementary school children.
“I personally believe that education is one of the most important factors in determining what type of life you are able to live and it is important that children realize this early. I believe that when we as adults take an interest in a child’s education, they also realize the importance of education,” explained Paul Flemings, a Procurement Business Process Manager, Operational Forces Directorate. “I participated mainly because of the importance of education in my personal life and the importance that my parents placed on education. I place the same importance of education on my children. In speaking of Lincoln Elementary School, I get personal satisfaction knowing that I can help a child realize how important education is and how it may help them become what they believe they can become in life.”
But, Dial succinctly summarized the importance of giving and the impact it may ultimately have on the children fortunate enough to receive the donations.
“It is very important that all children are afforded the same opportunities to learn -- especially during the formative years of elementary school. Being able to help these children with necessary supplies can give them the upper hand in class and in life.”
Naval Medical Logistics Command is stationed aboard Fort Detrick in Frederick, Md., and routinely participates in community outreach activities. It delivers patient centered logistics solutions for military medicine and is the Department of Defense’s premier medical logistics support activity.