By Ms. Jessica Marie Ryan (IMCOM Europe)December 14, 2017
CHIÈVRES, Belgium -- Holiday cheer was in the air as the Army Community Service center opened its doors to the community Dec. 8 during their annual open house event on SHAPE, Belgium.
Guests enjoyed festivities such as meeting Santa, judging decorated doors, and listening to holiday music performed by the SHAPE International Band. ACS program managers as well as other community representatives were also on-site to provide more information about local programs and services.
"Today's event was open to the whole community. ACS and the other offices in this building [Bldg. 318 on SHAPE] are for U.S. personnel. However, during Christmas time, we want to open it to all NATO members," said Eli Markova, the information referral and follow-up program manager at ACS.
"We also want to do something for the families. We do a lot of training and classes for the service members and often times we don't see the families."
According to their website, ACS provides a wide range of services in areas such as relocation readiness, family advocacy, employment readiness, volunteer management, survivor outreach, financial readiness, pre-and post-deployment support and sexual harassment/assault response prevention.
Notably, the U.S. Army Garrison Benelux ACS received the 2016 ACS Installation Award of Excellence.
As people gathered in the hallways to talk to community representatives, Markova reflected on the event's overall intent.
"The event was planned based on the needs of our clients. My goal is to refer them to the right events and programs," she said. "It's not just about ACS. It's about the whole community. We help people in so many different circumstances."