Operation Warmheart kicks off

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Operation Warmheart is currently underway and accepting donations for Thanksgiving food items until Nov. 10.

It is a charter designed to help E-5s and below who are in need.

Along with a $250 grant to those who have emergency needs and helping the Buckley Spouses Group with the annual Angel Tree, it provides members with food baskets for the holidays, said Senior Master Sgt. Amy Cook, co-project officer and Air Reserve Personnel Center first sergeant.

The Thanksgiving food baskets include a turkey, boxed stuffing, instant potatoes, turkey gravy, canned sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, canned green beans, mushroom soup, French fried onions, a pre-made pie shell, pumpkin pie mix, a can of evaporated milk and a boxed dessert, enough to make a complete Thanksgiving meal, she said.

Any E-5 and below in need, including Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Airmen and Coast Guardsmen, is eligible to benefit from the donations, as long as he/she expresses the need to his/her first sergeant, she said.

Each Buckley unit and affiliate is responsible for collecting one food item from the list.

-- Turkeys: The Operation Warmheart fund
-- Stuffing: 460th Civil Engineer Squadron, 460th Medical Group
-- Instant potatoes: 460th Space Communications Squadron
-- Turkey gravy: 460th Security Forces Squadron
-- Canned sweet potatoes: 460th SCS
-- Cranberry sauce: Naval Information Operations Command
-- Canned green beans: 460th Mission Support Squadron, 460th Logistics Readiness Squadron
-- Mushroom soup: 460th Contracting Squadron, 460th Comptroller Squadron
-- French fried onions: 566th Information Operations Squadron
-- Pie shells: 460th Operations Support Squadron
-- Pumpkin pie mix: 460th MSS, 460th LRS
-- Evaporated milk: 2nd Space Warning System
-- Boxed desserts: ARPC, Defense Finance Accounting Service

To donate any of these items, contact the responsible squadron's first sergeant.

"(Donating and packing baskets) gives every member a chance to build camaraderie and to feel like they are contributing to a greater cause," Sergeant Cook said.

Representatives from every unit will pack the baskets Nov. 16 in time to give them away for Thanksgiving.

After Thanksgiving, Operation Warmheart will start collecting for Christmas food baskets and the Angel Tree, a toy drive headed up by the Buckley Spouses Group.