Operation Christmas Cheer for Kids
This project started back in July when Richard and I were setting around our fire pit on our back deck looking at one of his wooden toys he had just finished. We came up with this idea that the Anchorage Flotilla needs a project that everybody could get involved in. Richard said we could make bunch of these really easy trucks and give them to the children in the Hospitals at Christmas time to bring little cheer and happiness. I told him that wooden trucks would be ok for the boys, but what about the girls and that’s when I suggest Raged Dolls for the girls. At our September meeting Richard brought up our idea to the Flotilla everybody thought that was a great idea so plans were made and we got busy.
We started making wooden toys and I started working on the rag dolls after working a week on one raged doll that making 30 dolls was when I realized that it would take lot more time then what I had to make 30 dolls. I put a call in to the other ladies in our Flotilla it was suggested that we would make hand puppets for the girls. So I got busy and came up with a puppet designed and after doing few I got busy making 30 puppets 10 frogs and 20 puppies 10 dark brown and 10 tan puppies and it did not take long to do them. Richard came up with a grass hopper for the girls so he made few of them. Richard got few of the guys to help put the wooden trucks and grass hopper together. We had few of the guys take some of them home and sand them. We decide we would not put anything on the wooden trucks because you never know if a child might have allergies so we left them bare. On the puppets the eyes and noses where all sewn on no buttons or beads that could get pulled off. We always made sure that everything was safe for the kids.
Before we knew it Thanksgiving was upon us and the Anchorage Flotilla was having our Thanksgiving meeting and we showed our members the finished product and we started working on getting everything set up for our Operation Christmas Cheer for kids.
Our team had it set up with the local Hospitals and out of the three in the Anchorage area only two of them had kids in the children ward. Out first visit was the Native Hospital where we were welcome with open arms and much joy. They had only ten children in the ward some of them we were not able to go into the rooms but there was few that we did get to go into and was given permission from the parents to take photos of the children receiving the trucks and the puppets. There was one little boy that we gave him a truck and a puppet and he had a huge smile and was busy playing with his truck and puppet. That left all of us with a very warm and fussy feeling and for us we knew that this idea was one little thing that made life for one little boy little happier and merrier for one little boy during this Christmas. Our contact person Roberta Miljure took few of the grass hoppers to give to the physical therapy team to work with the kids. We did leave few under the Christmas Tree for those that might come in during the Christmas Holiday.
When we made contact with Providence Hospital the person we where suppose to meet up with was not available so we decide that we would try other children group.
It worked out great because Richard and I meant another fellow who was a member of the Anchorage Shrines. Dan dresses up as Santa Claus and delivers toys to the needy kids in Anchorage and other places. We had few trucks and puppets left over so we gave them to Dan. We asked him next year if he would be willing to team up with the Anchorage Flotilla and we could do something together.
Richard Fairbanks - Anchorage Flotilla Commander, Staff Officer for IS, CS, PE
Patricia Fairbanks -Anchorage Flotilla Staff Officer & District Staff Officer for Human Resources