Operation Warm Heart assists families during holiday season

Credit: (U.S. Air Force photo by Wesley

Credit: (U.S. Air Force photo by Wesley

First Sergeants Council program spreads cheer, family to family

The First Sergeants Council’s Operation Warm Heart continues to serve the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base community over the holiday season through the Adopt-A-Family Program.

The campaign confidentially serves Airmen and civilians who qualify for additional assistance through their assigned first sergeant.

“This program serves Airmen, Guardians and civilians who can use extra assistance over the holiday season, typically E-5/GS-5 and below,” said Master Sgt. Karla McCool, 73rd Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Squadron first sergeant. “We also assist members outside of those pay grades who have extenuating circumstances.”

To benefit from Adopt-A-Family during the holiday season, personnel submit requests to their first sergeant and are then vetted to make sure they qualify.

“Each year, the First Sergeants Council advertises sponsorship information within their respective units,” McCool said. “As sponsors can take part each year, we contact them from the previous year to invite them to be a sponsor again if they are still interested.”

Gift information and a code name are distributed for each recipient. Code names are used to match gifts to the correct family member while keeping identities anonymous.

Sponsors are able to host as many children and families as they choose.

“Each sponsor receives a wish list of each child’s age, gender, interests, wants and/or needs that has been filled out by their parent or legal guardian,” McCool said. “The family or child code name is then listed on each sponsor packet, along with the wish list.”

Wrapped and labeled gifts are collected on the first and second Fridays in December at the Student Activity Center by Jarvis gym. This year, collection will take place Dec. 3 and 10. All sponsor positions have been filled.

“The program would not exist if it wasn’t for the generosity of our sponsors,” McCool said. “Words cannot express how impactful this is to our fellow Airmen and Guardians. Each family is incredibly appreciative of the community support they receive.”

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