8th MPs inaugural Make a Difference Day
May 22, 2013
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii -- Anyone familiar with military life knows Soldiers and their families are busy to say the least; and with the many day-to-day obligations that military families incur they may not have the time to take advantage of the opportunities available to them that come with living in a military community.
The 8th Military Police Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, held their inaugural "Make a Difference Day," May 3 to change that; not only for one day but for years to come.
"With this event we [8th MP Bde.] wanted to make sure that we brought out agencies who would help our Soldiers and family members become empowered about making a difference in their lives and in the lives of their family members," said Staff Sgt. Yvonne Brooks, chaplain's assistant, 8th MP Bde.
More than 20 agencies were brought together in one central location on Hamilton Field at Schofield Barracks to make it easier for Soldiers and their families to register, learn, volunteer and be better informed.
"It was a community effort," said Brooks, the brainchild behind the 8th MP Bde.'s event. "Many people were involved in getting these agencies out here. Some [agencies] were my contacts over the years of working here as a chaplain's assistant and some were agencies that showed an interest in helping Soldiers and were actively looking for opportunities to come to our Soldiers."
One such agency was Army Community Service.
"The more families know about what is in their community, the more we can help them and assist them in a positive way," said Stacy Timmins, a social services specialist at ACS. "This is a great event to get some of the services that are available here on post to the families, because sometimes Soldiers get so busy during the day that they forget to bring home that information. This is a great way for us to reach out to the families and let them know what is available here on post."
Soldiers and their families spent the morning not only becoming better informed on resiliency, healthy living, volunteerism, and services available to them but also enjoyed being with their co-workers in a fun care-free atmosphere that was filled with balloons, face painting, music, games, and a children's inflatable bounce house.
Katie Chapman, spouse of Staff Sgt. Steve Chapman, 552 Military Police Co., 728th MP Bn., 8th MP Bde. spoke about the opportunity for her children to spend the morning with their father at work.
"Time with daddy, in his environment, with other Soldiers, they love it," she said. "Especially when we're out doing activities, getting their faces painted, and having fun. They are so proud of their Dad. It was a great day."
As the day came to an end, the chaplain's assistant took a moment to reflect on the morning's event.
"I wanted people to be able to walk ten steps and find exactly what they were looking for," she said. "If there was anything they were wondering about or questioning, that agency was right there to answer their questions, and if they weren't, that agency will be here next year. I think that as long as we get people involved in their community they will take ownership of it. They will become community leaders, and that's what the goal is. We want to make a difference."