Academy students sustain local charity
March 20, 2008
FORT RUCKER, Ala.-The Fort Rucker Advanced Noncommissioned Officer Course class 08-001 donated $1,000 to a nearby House of Ruth, in front of the NCO Academy archway here March 5.
Soldiers learn skills at the U.S. Army Aviation Noncommissioned Officer Academy day in and day out, learning skills to help them become better leaders. While NCOs are there to learn, they also set aside time to give back and help the community.
The class organized fundraisers to help with school-related expenses, and chose to donate the remaining money to the Dothan, Ala., domestic violence shelter, according to small group leader Sgt. 1st Class Alfredo Valdes.
Students Sgt. 1st Class Mike Nuttall and Staff Sgt. Steven Smith helped organize the fundraisers.
Smith said he and his Family actually lived in a spousal abuse shelter growing up and it felt good to give back. He added that there were a lot of charities to choose from, but he hopes that organizations like the House of Ruth continue to help children, like him and his brother, grow up to be successful.
Nuttall added that being able to see the results of a donation right here in their community is satisfying.
"We just wanted to do something to help the community," he said. "The fact that we could help someone here and we can actually see the results is great."
After receiving the check, House of Ruth representative Karen Boyd thanked the Soldiers for their consideration.
"I'm in the shelter and in the community. I don't just sit behind a desk," she said. "Donations mean a lot because I see first-hand who it's helping."
Boyd said she visits schools and talks to children and teens about domestic and dating violence. She added that she reaches out to children as young as 5 years old because domestic violence doesn't begin overnight.
"Domestic violence is a gradual thing and it's preventable (with consistent education and awareness)," she said. "Thank you so much. Donations are what keep our doors open. You all do such a great job and I'm so proud to know that you Soldiers not only protect our country, but you're protecting our community too."