Over 50 families aboard Naval Air Station Lemoore (NASL) were provided with Thanksgiving “bountiful baskets” this week, courtesy of the Joint Strike Fighter spouses from Commander, Strike Fighter Wing Pacific (CSFWP), VFA-147, VFA-125 and Westwood Bluffs senior living community of Fresno.
Volunteers from the organizations delivered the “bountiful baskets”, which included everything needed to prepare Thanksgiving dinner, to the chapel where chapel staff along with NASL-based Cub Scout Pack 425 and Boy Scout Troop 432 of Armona, handed them out to base families.
“There were a few occasions in my childhood that my family received these,” said Carile McCoy. “When my husband was the Skipper of VFA-86 in Beaufort, I knew that was the perfect time to give back. We felt like we were giving back to the community that supported our Navy families. I knew that coming back to NAS Lemoore as a family, I wanted to show this support again. We were very excited to show that same appreciation to our Navy family by supporting our NAS Lemoore families. JSF Spouses and VFA-125 and VFA-147 Spouses were eager to support this during Thanksgiving.”
Westwood Bluffs, who has sponsored this program for the last seven years, also participates in NASL’s adopt-a-family program during the holiday season, where families can obtain gifts for children. The Chapel will offer Christmas dinner baskets.
According to Petty Officer First Class Abraham Dukuly, a Religious Program Specialist at the base chapel, service members who can benefit from these giving programs should submit requests to their commands. Eligible families will have their information passed onto the Chapel and that information will remain anonymous.
“Most of us know what it’s like to go through seasons of need, and many of us know what it’s like to go through seasons of plenty,” said Chaplin Keith Ritter. “This is simply an interchange between those who need a blessing and those who are blessed. If you are in a place of need, most of us have been there. We’re there for you.”
The Chapel also runs a year-round pantry. The pantry is available to all NASL families, not just the chapel parishioners.
Non-perishable food and baby care items, such as formula, diapers and wipes are always welcomed and needed.
Chapel Pantry hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. for both donations and use. Those who have questions or are in need of the pantry in an emergency situation outside regular operating hours can call 559-998-4618.