The Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Cherry Point community is giving back this holiday season.
In an effort to lift up MCAS Cherry Point service members and children in need, various organizations both on and off the installation are uniting to help them have a good Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Starting with Thanksgiving, Memorial Chapel, Carteret County Association of REALTORS, and the Whistle Stop Thrift Shop, which is run by the Cherry Point Spouse Club, are pooling together their resources to purchase $25 commissary gift cards for service members in need to buy a Thanksgiving meal.
“It seems there are always individuals who have needs during the holiday season,” Chaplain Bingol said. “This can be particularly hard with some of our junior enlisted folks, especially those who have larger families. It becomes one of those opportunities for the air station to think of those individuals and help them out a little bit. It can help them have a good holiday and take some of the burden away.”
The chapel will collect monetary donations through Friday, Nov. 19, 2021, and will purchase approximately 200 commissary gift cards with funds raised, beating last year’s record of 184. Gift card recipients will be identified by sergeant majors and senior enlisted leaders, and can be picked up confidentially Nov. 22 and 23 at Memorial Chapel.
“It’s important that we give back to our own,” said Dana Dunn, Whistle Stop Thrift Shop volunteer.
As we transition into the holiday season, Marine Corps Community Service (MCCS) Cherry Point will sponsor the air station’s Angel Tree, which will be displayed in the MCX and Naval Health Clinic from Nov. 23-Dec. 14, 2021. The way it works is the names of children in need on MCAS Cherry Point will hang from the tree, and shoppers can choose an ‘angel’ to purchase a new, unopened Christmas gift for, not exceeding $25. Gifts can be dropped off at the customer service desk at the Main Exchange.
Additionally, the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program will sponsor the toy drive on the air station this year. Toys for Tots is an initiative where people can purchase a new, unwrapped gift for a child in need and drop it off at various distribution sites. The drop-off location on the air station is inside the Main Exchange.
“The difference between Toys for Tots and the Angel Tree is that the Angel Tree is very targeted and specific to a particular child,” Chaplain Bingol said. “Toys for Tots is more general, they have appropriate toys for either a boy or girl within a particular age range.”
For more information on Thanksgiving gift cards or to make a donation, contact Memorial Chapel at 252-466-4000. Further volunteer inquires about Toys for Tots can be answered at https://camp-lejeune-nc.toysfortots.org, and questions about the Whistle Stop Thrift Shop can be directed to 252-444-0949.