Pennsylvania National Guard helps bring joy

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Culeen Shaffer
  • 193rd Special Operations Wing

Twinkling lights.

Brightly colored packages.

Christmas Carols.

Holiday cheer.


These are some of what is expected this time of year, however, for some this doesn’t come easy or at all.

Thanks to volunteer Pennsylvania state employees and Pennsylvania National Guard Soldiers and Airmen, joy was able to be spread to families and older adults that were identified as in need by social workers. As part of the 2017 Holiday Wish Program individuals supplied their wish list and state employees sponsored the families and individuals.

“Once the gifts hit the door we all come together to organize all gifts by location, the last part is to load and deliver all gifts’, said Tech. Sgt. Kevin Foy, 201st RED HORSE Squadron supply technician, who headed up the efforts for 193rd Regional Support Group Airmen.

The volunteers arrived at the Keystone Building, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania the morning of Dec. 6, 2017; greeting those bringing in gifts and helping carry them to the correct spot inside.

“I volunteer to show support to the local community Tech. Sgt. Ken Supsic, 201st RED HORSE Squadron supply technician said. “Helping those that are less fortunate should be a priority on everyone's list.”

Foy, 193rd RSG Supply Supervisor Master Sgt. David Blough, and 271st Combat Communication Squadron Unit Training Manager Master Sgt. Jodi Vo; four of fourteen 193rd RSG Airmen helping to build stronger bonds with the communities they live and work in, while bringing joy to Christmas, echoed Supsic’s thoughts.

Vo said she found it rewarding and likes to give back, especially during the holidays season.

Once the gifts were inside the volunteers gathered around for a small ceremony which included a visit from Santa, carols sung by children, speeches by First Lady Frances Wolf, Brig. Gen. David Wood, Director, Joint Staff – Pennsylvania Joint Force Headquarters and others, and was followed by group photos.

The Volunteers then loaded the gifts into military vehicles, each with a county assistance office as the destination.

The designated families and individuals in need would be able to pick up their gifts at those locations.

“It gives me great pleasure to deliver gifts knowing they will put a smile on a child's face on Christmas morning,” said Blough.

About 200 families and 100 seniors will now have some joy added to their Christmas thanks to the generosity and dedication of commonwealth employees, and Soldiers and Airmenof the Pennsylvania National Guard.

Scattered colorful torn wrapping paper.