2017-12-01 / News Update

BOLC Soldiers build up dreams for low-income families

Wilson A. Rivera
Fort Gordon Public Affairs Office


442nd Signal Battalion, Basic Officer Leader Course students pose for a group photo. 
Wilson Rivera / Fort Gordon Public Affairs Office 442nd Signal Battalion, Basic Officer Leader Course students pose for a group photo. Wilson Rivera / Fort Gordon Public Affairs Office Low-income families within the Central Savannah River Area are assisted with obtaining housing yet will still be short of some necessary items, such as a bed. The Every Child Deserves a Place to Dream program and the Family YMCA of the Greater Augusta helps children in the community get the sleep they need.

Soldiers with 442nd Signal Battalion, Basic Officer Leader Course, volunteered their time to help build beds donated by area businesses. More than 20 Soldiers assisted unloading more than 40 metal bed frames, bedding, and mattresses. Once inside, other volunteer groups worked alongside Soldiers to assemble each bed in four hours, which would have taken workers all day to complete the task, according to 2nd Lt. Troy Brown, a Signal School BOLC student with Class 001-18.

“They definitely needed volunteers,” said Brown. “I feel that it’s a great look being that Soldiers are helping those in need in the community and not just come to Fort Gordon just to do our job.”

As a designated volunteer officer, Brown provides opportunities for fellow classmates to complete six hours of volunteerism while at school. Hours are tracked through the Volunteer Management Information System, where Soldiers can apply for additional volunteer opportunities. The YMCA initially listed they didn’t have volunteers and needed assistance.

While waiting for the delivery of furniture, Soldiers and other volunteers interacted with children and families in Richmond County.

“Something big that stuck out to me was the show of the police in the community and that they really went out of their way to have a good positive image,” said 2nd Lt. Amber Sims, a Signal School BOLC student with Class 001-18.

The CSRA has many social service agencies helping low-income families obtain housing, but few help these families turn their housing into functional homes. Consequently, residents are forced to sleep on the floor, air mattresses, sofas, or crowded into a bed with other family members.

Servicemembers and family members interested in volunteer opportunities can contact the Fort Gordon volunteer coordinator at (706)791-3579, or contact the Family YMCA of Greater Augusta for additional information about this program at (706)922-9130.

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