Operation Homefront Southern Plains will hold a Back-to-School Brigade on Wednesday, August 5, 2015 at Altus Air Force Base. Free backpacks and school supplies will be distributed to local military children, of the Altus area. Registration has been open for eligible lower and mid-grade ranking military families (E1-E6).
Operation Homefront is a national nonprofit, that leads more than 2,500 volunteers who provide emergency and other financial assistance to the families of service members and wounded warriors. Operation Homefront has provided assistance to thousands of military families since its inception in 2002. Recognized for superior performance by leading independent charity watchdog groups, nationally, 93 percent of total donations to Operation Homefront go directly to programs that provide support to military families.
Amanda Saltiel, Program Coordinator, Operation Homefront Southern Plains, was very excited to visit the AAFB Freedom Community Center, where the event will take place, and meet with lead volunteer, Joy Lowe. Lowe has been helping Saltiel coordinate more volunteers, donations, and will assist with setup and distribution on event day.
“This is the first time in three or four years that the Back-to-School Brigade has been held in Altus. As a result of the efforts of Joy Lowe and seeing the need and response from the military families at the Holiday Toy Drive, the event was brought back to Altus,” said Saltiel.
Operation Homefront has partnered with Dollar Tree for the past seven years for this event. According to Saltiel, in just one week the Altus Dollar Tree has donated over 400 items.
“One store with those large numbers is amazing,” Saltiel said. “And we really want to create an experience for the families. We don’t want this to be just a “grab and go” event.”
This year’s Back-to-School Brigade theme is; “Feel like a Star”. There will be a red carpet rolled out and a photographer taking the children’s pictures, with photo props provided. Operation Homefront is committed to making the experience a great memory for the children and families.
There will be 250 backpacks and countless school supply items. Each backpack will also include Operation Homefront information. The purpose is to make sure the families know what the extend of Operation Homefront’s mission and the resources available.
“I like to call us the ‘Google of Operations’, because if we can’t help, we will help the family find an organization that can meet their need,” said Saltiel.
Base leadership, Altus Mayor, Jack Smiley, Chamber President and CEO, Brian Bush, members of the Altus School Board, as well as members of the Operation Homefront Advisory Board, have been invited to attend the event.
The Back-to-School Brigade, red carpet event, will be held from 2 to 6 p.m., Wednesday, August 5, at the Altus Air Force Base, Freedom Community Center, Building 148. Families can register up until the day before the event (August 4). There are currently 96 open spots. Register at Events.OperationHomefront.net
“When I met Brian Bush, as well as when I met the Mayor, they both expressed great support of whatever the base needs and any way they can help. It’s important that everyone has our information and knows that we can help veterans, active duty families and more,” said Saltiel.
For more information, go to www.OperationHomefront.net.
Reach Tinita at firstname.lastname@example.org