Posted on December 19, 2012 at 3:15 pm by Brianna
Ellsworth Air Force Base’s 28th Operations Group carried out a special holiday mission Tuesday, December 18.
The 28th OG, which includes the 28th Operations Support Squadron, 34th Bomb Squadron and 37th Bomb Squadron, brought Santa to Youth & Family Services Child Care facility and delivered toys that squadron members collected over the last several weeks for children enrolled in the YFS Child Care program. This was the sixth year the 28th OG collected and donated gifts to children involved in the program.
YFS Child Care staff provided the names and ages of infants, toddlers and preschool-aged children in their program to squadron members, who then purchased and wrapped gifts for every child. Squadron members delivered more than 170 gifts to the youngsters in the YFS Child Care program.
Approximately 30 squadron members arrived with Santa on the EAFB float that had previously been in the Parade of Lights. Santa was greeted by hundreds of children waiting, very enthusiastically, on the curb. After Santa greeted the excited children outside, he and the volunteers went from classroom to classroom handing out presents to all the children.
The idea of a toy drive started among members of the 28th OSS who wanted to bring a little Christmas cheer to an organization in the community, and make a difference in the lives of children and families.
That spirit of giving soon spread to the 34th and 37th Bomb Squadrons, whose members and families enthusiastically began adding to the growing pile of presents for YFS children.
Santa was also able to distribute gifts that were donated to the school-aged children enrolled in YFS Child Care. Gifts for these children were purchased, wrapped, and donated by workers of Rapid City’s local United States’ Postal Service office.
Each year, workers at the post office purchase gifts for all the school age children at YFS Child Care and deliver them the morning that Santa comes to visit the kids. This year, two mail carriers used their day off to come unload a truck full of gifts for the children.