JOE FOSS FIELD, S.D. --
The 114th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Weapons Element is giving back to the hungry in South Dakota this month after collecting canned goods in their shop during January Guard Drill and holding a fundraising taco feed in December.
“We wanted to create an event to come together as a shop, meet some folks from other shops on base, boost morale, and give back to our community by donating to Feeding South Dakota which helps large quantities of kids and families in our community and state.” said Senior Airman Toni Larson, 114th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron weapons specialist.
Feeding South Dakota is a non-profit, hunger relief organization that assists in providing temporary food assistance to approximately 21,000 individuals and families weekly in our community and surrounding area. In FY18, Feeding South Dakota as a whole distributed 12.2 million pounds of food in the fight against hunger.
Larson, along with her sister, Staff Sgt. Taya Larson, 114th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron weapons specialist, and Tech. Sgt. Karl Hoskins, 114th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron weapons specialist, organized this event to provide a positive example of what a small shop can accomplish in a small amount of time. They raised $120 from the taco bar and collected over 300 canned goods.
“For our first year, we feel like we had a good start, but we’d like to expand on this in the future,” said Hoskins. “Even though the donation may seem small, we believe this modest donation will make a difference somewhere.”
The group acknowledges that guard members are always busy and involved in lots of other activities, but little things like this can make a difference.
“It was important for the us to find something that was simple, easy to participate in and easy to administer,” said Larson. “Bringing in canned foods is a good way to get a lot of participation.”
They hope other shops see this as a success and run with it so all the shops on base are working together to do something for the community.
“Military members aren’t just focused on the military, especially as a guard unit we are supposed to be helping out our community as well,” said Larson. “With Feeding South Dakota, we found a need and it allows us to directly help the hungry in our community and state.”