RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany --
Kaiserslautern Military Community first sergeants got together to host the Angel Tree Kickoff on Dec. 1, 2019.
The event was held at the Kaiserslautern Military Community Center and promoted the Angel Tree Program, a charity that financially helps military families in the community.
“The Angel Tree Event is one of the more grassroots fundraising events that you're going to find in the Air Force. It's been going on for quite a few years now,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Ato Ellis, 435th Air Expeditionary Wing, Security Forces Squadron and Wing Staff Agencies first sergeant. “We identify families that can use that help during the holiday season and give money out to the families depending on the number of kids they have.”
The kickoff included games with prizes, a children’s choir, a guest speaker and free cake.
U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Terrance Smiley, Kisling Noncommissioned Officer Academy commandant, spoke about the importance of giving back and how it affected him in the past.
“I can think back to times where the Angel Tree Program impacted me when I was a young airman and then a young staff sergeant at Keesler Air Force Base,” Smiley said. “My finances at the time probably weren’t what they were supposed to be, but programs like the Angel Tree allowed my family to get gifts for my kids.”
From past experience, Smiley recognized the importance of communities coming together to help each other out.
“Angel Tree is a program that, without a doubt, makes an impact in the community,” Smiley said. “When I think back to last year, Angel Tree, throughout the KMC, raised more than $25,000, impacted more than 200 families and 400 kids. That's what making an impact in the community is all about and that’s what Angel Tree does.”
Anyone can donate by depositing cash or gift cards in envelopes and placing them in security boxes located adjacent to any Angel Tree.
Angel Trees can be found at the listed locations:
- Ramstein/Vogelweh Commissaries
- Ramstein Community Center
- Ramstein North Chapel
- Ramstein Officer’s Club
- Vogelweh Shopette
- Ramstein Express
Angel Trees will be up until Dec. 31, 2019.
For those hoping to nominate a family for the Angel Tree, please speak to your unit’s first sergeant.