Airmen Show Giving Spirit through Angel Tree

  • Published
  • By By Staff Sgt. Jefferson James-Dorsey
  • 911th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Twinkling lights, candles burning, carols being sung – the sights and sounds of the holiday season are all around. But there’s something extra special about the handmade ornaments adorning many of the trees throughout the 911th Airlift Wing. These Angel Trees carry the wishes of those in need.

The Angel Tree is a holiday assistance program for 911th AW families who face financial hardships, particularly at this time of the year. In past years, the program has been open to military members only. This marks the fifth year this worthy cause has been sponsored on base, and for the first time has been extended to include civilians supporting the base. 

Each of the angel ornaments were crafted by Senior Airman Adam Kitta, an aircraft metals technology specialist and labeled by Tech. Sergeant Ashley Lynn Wiley, a structural maintenance supervisor, both of the 911th Airlift Wing Maintenance Squadron. The final touches were completed by McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base NCO academy class 19-1. The angels were marked with names of grocery stores and discount department stores to cover whatever a family may need, whether it’s a holiday meal, clothing or toys.

Anyone wishing to contribute to this worthy cause, may select an angel and purchase a gift card of any value for the marked store to donate. The gift cards will be accepted by first sergeants until Christmas.

Tech. Sgt. Kelly Butterbaugh, the 911th AW acting first sergeant, said, “The generosity of the 911th to help fellow Airmen and our civilian support staff has been extraordinary.” He added that due to the overwhelming response, he even requested additional angels to provide for.

There is still time! Those in need may request to receive a gift, by contacting their first sergeant. Participants’ names can remain confidential in this no-judgment zone.

As said by Col. Douglas N. Strawbridge, commander of the 911th AW, “Everyone here is a valued member of our team, and will be shown the respect everyone deserves – at all times. Please look out for one another, your family, and your friends.  There is nothing more important, especially this time of year.”