Marines help Marines at Thanksgiving
Billie Kochara, Marine Corps Family Team Building Director, H&S Bn, HQMC, Henderson Hall, hands a Marine a $25 gift certificate from the Commissary. This allows the Marine Families to select food items of their choice for their Thanksgiving meal Nov.

Headquarters and Service Battalion, Headquarters Marine Corps, Henderson Hall and Marine Corps Community Services Henderson Hall, Marine Corps Family Team Building (MCFTB), a branch of Marine & Family Services joined in sponsoring a Thanksgiving Food Basket Program, which assists Marine Families E-5 and below. A requirement of the program is that eligible Marine Families must include children. The Henderson Hall program has been around about fourteen years.

Billie Kochara, MCFTB director at Henderson Hall oversees the Thanksgiving Food Basket Program.
Aca,!EoeAca,!EoeWe reach out to all the Families of the installations we service throughout the [National Capital Region]; 8th & I [Marine Barracks], Marine Reserve Center, 4th Reserve Unit, Chemical Biological Emergency Response Force, Fort Meade, the Patuxent River Naval Air Station and recruiting stations. Wounded warriors at Walter Reed donAca,!a,,ct have a MFS so, Henderson Hall becomes their source.Aca,!A? Kochara said.

Family readiness officers and senior Marines can nominate Marines in their section or Marines may nominate themselves. Kochara contacts all the FROs in the NCR, which includes Stephen McElvine, the Henderson Hall family readiness officer.

Aca,!EoeAca,!EoeMy role for the Thanksgiving Food Basket Program is liaison between the Marine Family members and the MCFTB,Aca,!A? said McElvine. Aca,!EoeAca,!EoeI collect the application forms, make sure all the iAca,!a,,cs are dotted, the tAca,!a,,cs crossed, then submit the applications to MCFTB.Aca,!A?

"The Aca,!EoeAca,!EoeFood BasketAca,!A? will be in the form of a $50 to $150 gift certificate redeemable at the Commissary to allow Families to select food items of their choice for their Thanksgiving meal,Aca,!A? Kochara, explained.

The Thanksgiving Food Basket Program starts in May at the annual Joint Services Open House on Joint Base Andrews, Joint Services Air Show during the Armed Forces Weekend. Marine Corps Family Team Building asks Marine volunteers to help run a food booth. The proceeds raised are equally divided between all supporting volunteer organizations.

Aca,!EoeAca,!EoeThis year we were able to raise $3,060 in commissary certificates,Aca,!A? said Kochara. Aca,!EoeAca,!EoeIn addition, the Fort Myer Thrift Shop donated an additional $4,000 in commissary certificates.Aca,!A?

The program relies on volunteers. A former executive officer from Henderson Hall and his wife make up traditional food baskets to give to Marines. Marines can receive help in either the form of a commissary certificate or a food basket.

Carol La Voy the Family Care and Readiness Branch manager said, Aca,!EoeAca,!EoeMarines have a saying that they take care of their own. This is an excellent example of Marines helping other Marines. ItAca,!a,,cs a great concept.Aca,!A?

Page last updated Mon November 29th, 2010 at 09:29