'A Generous Season' at 14th Air Force and JFCC SPACE
By Maj. Larry van der Oord, 14th Air Force Public Affairs
/ Published December 10, 2013
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The men and women of 14th Air Force and Joint Functional Component Command for Space have dedicated this holiday season to giving back to the community around Vandenberg Air Force Base.
Eight teams of approximately 450 Airmen and joint partners participated in an effort to accomplish more than 3,850 hours of volunteer service in the local area.
The three-month long service competition culminates Dec. 14, 2013, at the organization's holiday party where Lt. Gen. Susan Helms, JFCC SPACE and 14 AF commander, will announce winning team members of the campaign appropriately themed, 'A Generous Season.'
"This effort extended as far north as San Miguel and as far south as Port Hueneme," said Master Sgt. Jim Desgrange, non commissioned officer in charge within the requirements branch of the 14th Air Force communications directorate and lead for the community service endeavor. "It has been an amazing competition, and we have been fortunate enough to positively impact some outstanding organizations."
With a focus on areas such as community, fitness and education, the volunteer efforts of JFCC SPACE and 14 AF members supported youth after school programs, homeless shelters, youth sports teams, adult fitness classes and tutoring programs at various elementary, middle and high schools.
As part of his team's activity during the campaign, Desgrange helped lead two events to provide holiday parties for kids at a nearby homeless shelter's after school program and troubled youth at the Santa Maria Alternate Report and Resource Center.
"I think both groups of kids really enjoyed the parties we put together for them," said Desgrange. "It gave them a chance to paint ornaments, watch holiday movies, eat pizza and just enjoy this time of year."
Desgrange's team also worked with the kids to put together a surprise for guests attending the upcoming JFCC SPACE/14 AF holiday party.
"I think everybody in attendance will really appreciate what these kids came up with," he said. "We were lucky to have the chance to be part of it."
In the spirit of friendly competition, JFCC SPACE and 14 AF personnel are eager to see how their respective units fared when the final results are announced. However, the true spirit of the this year's campaign was prevalent across the entire organization.
"The 14 AF/JFCC SPACE team is full of people who have tremendous strength and, on top of that, the ability and passion to help carry those who may be in need," said Desgrange.