715th MI BN, NSA-H team up to support food drive

| October 26, 2017 | 0 Comments

Sgt. Shameeka R. Stanley
500th Military Intelligence Brigade
Public Affairs

WAHIAWA — “One Team, one fight” is a phrase most Soldiers hear in their formations, and they live by and carry it into the communities they work and live in.

The Feds Feed Families (FFF) campaign was created in 1999 to help food banks stay stocked during summer months when they traditionally see a decrease in donations and an increase in need.

Service members and civilians from the 715th Military Intelligence Battalion, 500th Military Intelligence Brigade-Theater (MIB-T) and the National Security Agency-Hawaii (NSA-H), joined to support the FFF campaign in August.

“Being able to participate and support the campaign though donations means giving back to the community as well as representing the military in a positive manner,” said Master Sgt. Adriana A. Vargas, senior enlisted leader, NSA-H Workforce Support Activities.

During the campaign, the NSA-H collected donations at three locations in Wahiawa. Their goal was to collect 10,000 pounds of food.

To make things more interesting, leaders came up with a twist: A friendly battle between each service branch and civilian employees to see which group could collect the most.

The military service battle was organized into Throw Down Thursdays (TDT). TDT consisted of the Army, Navy, Air Force, U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), Marines and civilians competing every Thursday. Each service branch had their own donation box where they were able to accumulate points for each donation.

Five points were given for canned goods and one point per pound of rice donated. The teams could “sabotage” each other’s point total by placing boxed or bagged food into their competitors’ boxes. The boxed or bagged goods subtracted two points per item.

Vargas said that the military battle built camaraderie between services and personnel that usually do not work together.

“It was an absolute honor to take part in something as noble as the Feds Feed Families campaign,” said Sgt. 1st Class Lawrence K. Morgan Jr., A Company, 715th MI Bn. “It is a very humbling thought to know that even without a natural disaster there are families out there that can benefit greatly from such a small contribution.

“The opportunity to be part of the solution with donations really bridges the gap for those who wish to help but might not able to volunteer their time otherwise,” he added.

FFF is a national event held annually.

“I absolutely think the inter-service rivalry helped bump up the numbers,” said Morgan. “Being able to frame that passion into a cause as awesome as F3 really motivates the service members to give just a little bit more than maybe they were originally going to, just for those bragging rights.”

The civilians racked up the most points with 2,267, followed by the Navy with 1,985 points.

The final combined tally was almost 22,000 pounds of food donated to the Hawaii Food Bank. This exceeded the set goal by 12,000 pounds.

“Being greatly outnumbered as the Soldiers here (are) I can honestly say it was a nice ‘cherry on top’ for the short while the Army had a lead over the other branches and civilians in weight donated,” Morgan said. “When that tally was posted it gave every Soldier a pause to think, ‘Hey, if I got two bags of rice instead of one we might actually win this!’ and put every other employee on notice that if they didn’t contribute at our pace the Army might actually take the title of ‘most generous service.’ I will say this, though: In the end, we all came out on top.”

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