- Duty Station: Marine Corps Barracks Washington
- Years being a military spouse: 10
Tell us a little bit about you! I’m a Marine Corps spouse and the mother of two small girls and a retired working German Shepherd. I manage the Air Force Officer Spouse Thrift Store; I’m also a base Girl Scout Brownie troop leader, the 2015 MSOY for Marine Barracks Washington, and founded the non-profit organization – Be A Blessing DC – helping local homeless and military families that need a hand up. I tend to call myself a “poor philanthropist”!
In the past, I have been the readiness advisor for my husband’s company, and the unofficial kitchen for field days! I volunteered at our church’s MOPS group as the finance coordinator, became a LINKS mentor/trainer and presented class material as well as trained others to do so. I also was the lead volunteer for 3D CEB as a family readiness assistant.
When we moved to Marine Barracks Washington. I heard the schools in our immediate surround couldn’t afford basic school supplies, so a good friend and I talked to the base librarian and we came up with the idea to have a school supply drive, bring supplies in exchange for fun at the library!
Though my part time job, I am able to donate school clothing to underprivileged children, expensive school curriculum and other supplies to the base home school group, ball gowns for the USO’s Cinderella Project, toiletries, clothing, and toys to the battered women’s shelter, plus take on other needs on a base-by-case basis. The hearts of the charitable AFOSC are aligned with mine, and for that I am truly grateful.
The “Be A Blessing” project came to fruition last year, while I held the title of 2015 Spouse of the Year for Marine Barracks Washington. Here I was in this giant city that had a huge poverty population. I would often see homeless men and women while walking to downtown, and I would talk to them and ask what they needed. Obviously, I don’t have the means to give them a home or a job, but something surely can help! I started soliciting from my friends and family for donations. Eventually,I had volunteers from the JBAB police department and Marines from the Barracks walking the streets of DC with my family. We walked from the Barracks through town until we reached out destination, giving bags to every homeless person we encountered. Due to the outpouring of support I received, I currently have enough supplies to do a monthly donation sweep for the next five months, and I continue to receive supplies all the time. I have been able to secure donations of goods from major companies, including Dollar General.
My husband is a chef in the Marine Corps, so I feel like I’m always trying to catch up to his skills in the kitchen. I love to make homemade caramels and other goodies to pass out to neighbors and friends.
What is one thing you would want to accomplish with the MSOY title? When I was nominated for the 2015 MSOY, to say I was intimidated would be an understatement. But, being the MSOY on a base level gave me the opportunity to meet people and make amazing connections here in the DC area. I am now in the process of founding my own 501(c)3 charity, securing corporate and personal sponsors, and taking off like wildfire – with very little money and fame to back me. Just a huge heart and some hard work, that’s all it took to get started.
My vision is, if I can represent the military community as the MSOY 2016, I can be an inspiration to all the other spouses out there that aspire to make a difference but don’t think they can. I am living proof that any ordinary person can be extraordinary. If I am voted MSOY 2016, my goal will be to help give a voice to the incoming spouses and those who feel small. Those who feel small will grow into large, powerful forces. Those who are new will have seeds planted into them that will grow to change the community. Any ordinary person can do the extraordinary.
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