The burden of selection was determined by each Alpha Company Team NCOIC. So on a cold winter day Soldier’s ranging in rank from Specialist to Sergeant First Class served meals, stacked boxes, cleaned kitchen equipment, and prepped food to serve the community at the Tacoma Rescue Mission.
The Tacoma Rescue Mission was established in 1912. It regularly services the community with three meals a day as well as offering church services, and a drug rehabilitation program which focuses on spiritual growth to overcome addiction. Within their many programs they also offer vocational training. These programs are designed for personal enrichment and recovery to help the homeless get off the streets, while giving them a skill and a focus for their future.
The Tacoma Rescue Mission’s purpose outlined in their concise mission statement is to, “Offer God’s Help, Hope and Healing to the most impoverished members of [the] community.” They generally serve 1,200 meals per day and hire trained cooks who often design their own menus, ensuring quality and variety in each meal. The network they have created within the community guarantees a quality product from genuinely creative individuals.
Each Soldier participated in serving approximately 200 individuals and donated a minimum of four hours of his or her time. Many of the Soldiers sat and shared a meal with these men and women. They exchanged stories, smiles, and handshakes that conveyed sincere interest. All of the Soldiers that participated spoke about the experience as gratifying, humbling, and one they would look forward to participating in again.
Truly, it was a service day that none of them intend to forget. Listed are the names of the Soldiers that committed their time to the community: Sgt.. 1st Class Buddy Croy, Staff Sgt.. Anthony Palette, Staff Sgt. Raymond Pruitt, Staff Sgt.. Michael Hernandez, Staff Sgt.. Brad Thayer, Staff Sgt.. Yavan Harper, Staff Sgt.. Robert Corcoran, Staff Sgt.. Adam Lanier, Sgt. Travis Goodwin, Sgt. Ruth Pizarro Quinones, Sgt. Simone Hilton, Sgt. Djinn Ferguson, Sgt. Lonnie Fueston, Sgt. Joseph Merritt, Sgt. Meri Rinehart, Sgt. Jake Brand, Sgt. Nicholas Shepherd, Sgt. Ivan Ramos, Spec. Jarrick Rehn, Spec. Casey Tankersly.
In addition, to this day of service many of the Soldiers that may not have been able to participate at the mission donated clothing over the months of November and December to the Kiwanis Cloth Bank in Renton, Washington. As a Company more than a hundred pounds of clothing and bedding was donated to be given to those in need at NO cost.
Each of these programs were developed by Staff Sgt.. Yavan Harper, but could not have come to fruition without the support of her direct leadership, the Command, and the participation of the Soldiers of the 3-414th CST, 104th Training Division (LT).
If you are interested in donating your time and energy to a worthy cause, check with your nearest Installation Volunteer Corps office to assist in your search to donate your time. If you do not live near a military installation, contact your unit Family Readiness Group by emailing: [email protected], or register with www.myarmyonesource.com, click on volunteer tools and find opportunities near you!