Army Reserve Soldiers of the 210th Regional Support Group, Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, donated a hefty sum of diapers, baby wipes, and miscellaneous child care goods to the Child Crisis Center of El Paso.
As the foremost entity of the Fort Bliss Mobilization and Deployment Brigade/Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security, the 210th RSG is also committed to serving the local community of El Paso.
“This was a joint effort between the 210th RSG, the Soldier Readiness Processing Center (SRPC), the Mobilization Support Unit, Gemini Tech Services, Luke and Associates Inc., and Magnificus-Sterling Corporation,” said Capt. Jerald Bodden, executive officer of the SRPC. “Overall, we collected 1,978 diapers and 5,940 baby wipes.”
The initiative began when Bodden and other Soldiers of the 210th RSG contacted the military programs director of CCC – El Paso to proffer their donation drive.
“(The 210th RSG) reached out to us and said that they wanted to give back to the community,” said Lorraine Gomez, chief executive officer of CCC – El Paso. “We are honored to be the recipients of this wonderful community project.”
Furthermore, Gomez expressed how grateful she and the rest of her organization is for the 210th RSG’s altruistic endeavor.
“For us, it’s truly exciting, and it never gets old,” Gomez said. “When we see people like you all come through our doors and bringing these supplies, it means that we don’t have to purchase those supplies out of our own funds, which are very limited to begin with. It’s priceless to us for that same reason, because everything that comes through our doors goes right back out into the community, whether it’s through goods or services.”
According to Bodden, his motivations to assist the CCC – El Paso also stem from an erstwhile event and his own personal life experiences.
“A few years back, I heard about a Soldier and his wife that were killed in a motor vehicle accident,” Bodden said. “I was looking for a local organization I knew truly helped out the community, and the Child Crisis Center of El Paso is one of the few that caters toward the military as far as taking care of Soldiers’ kids. I’m a single father, so all of this resonated with me and I’ve been donating for them ever since.”
Although the organization’s chief program is its Circle of Love Nursery and Children’s Shelter, the CCC – El Paso harbors a variety of other programs and services in the vein of parental stress relief (respite), parent/sibling hospitalization, child care during training exercises, homelessness, deportation, and Temporary Child Protective Placement.
“We’re very big in ensuring that we share all of the services that we have, because a lot of people think we’re just an emergency shelter,” Gomez said. “However, we also provide a lot of the preventive services and programs such as our Military Family and Veteran Prevention Program (MFVPP).”
The 210th RSG plans to organize additional events with the CCC – El Paso in the future, especially for Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons.
“We want to extend our sincere gratitude, and we hope that this is the beginning of something else to come,” Gomez said. “We want everybody to know that we truly care about our troops, our military families, and for those who’re deployed and the moms and dads that remain home. If anything comes up for these families who have these stressors every single day, please contact us and let us help you.”