Early Easter event offers activities for underprivileged kids
April 5, 2012
PIRMASENS, Germany -- Easter came early this year for some German and American kids, who took part in U.S. Army Medical Materiel Center, Europe's annual holiday event on March 24.
More than 50 children from Pirmasens' Nardinihaus, a local youth services center, got to have a traditional egg hunt, followed by food, games and fun. Joining them were about 50 children from U.S. military families.
"It's the fourth year we've held this Easter 'Eggstravaganza,'" said Col. William Stubbs, the unit commander. "It's a way to for us to give back to the community, especially the Nardinihaus and underprivileged children."
It took volunteers 30 minutes to scatter roughly 2,000 candy-filled eggs and just over a minute for 100 kids to pick them up, Stubbs said.
"It's great fun for Americans families and Germans to do this together," Stubbs said.
Planning for event began in February, said Spc. Shelvia Greene, 34, who helped coordinate everything from relay races and musical chairs to face painting and magic shows. Soldiers in Pirmasens, part of U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern, are used to volunteering, she said. Including local children, some who are orphans, is what really made the event special, Greene said.
"For us to help our German community, it shows them how much we as Americans appreciate being here," Greene said.
The annual event also brings USAMCE staff together for family fun, something outside of work that helps build morale, said Staff Sgt. Jose Martinez, 28, of Brownsville, Texas, who brought his family to the event.
"We stay pretty busy here and we don't spend a time together outside of work," Martinez said. "It brings out good camaraderie between Soldiers, officers and civilians. "