Lt. Col. Nicole Spears, commander 11th/100th Military Intelligence Battalion, 100th Training Division, embraced the idea of a unit clothing drive for the less fortunate, after Capt. Andrew Jones, the battalion's human resources officer, made the suggestion.
As a member of a prominent sorority, Spears is involved in multiple community service initiatives that include voter registration and blood drives, scholarships for college students, and homes for low income families. She decided the clothing drive would be a good way for the Soldiers to get involved in the community.
"We're here in our little bubble doing our thing and we never think about reaching out to the community," Spears said.
The unit is made up of Army Reserve instructors and support staff at Fort McCoy Wis. The instructors train Soldiers to be intelligence analysts, and they also conduct Noncommissioned Officer development classes.
"We wanted to do something for the community that all Soldiers could be involved in," Jones said. "We asked them to donate gently used clothing."
The unit donated approximately 50 articles of clothing, and on May 17, 2016, Jones made a trip to the La Crosse, Wis,, YWCA and presented the items to Ruthan Schultz, the YWCA executive director. Schultz told Jones that homeless women would more than likely be the beneficiaries of the donated items.
"All of our programs serve women children and families who are probably the most vulnerable in our community," Schultz added. "Many of them are unemployed or underemployed and simply don't have the resources to help themselves...these types of donations are always helpful."
Staff Sgt. Robert Anderson, the battalion's logistics specialist, who as a civilian has been a rape victim advocate, said anything that helps an individual who's in a bad predicament get peace of mind can make a difference.
Referring to the items he donated, Anderson said, "It'll help somebody, that's all that matters."
Jones, who came up with the idea of a clothing drive after seeing it done successfully by another unit, said he hopes the battalion will continue working with the YWCA to help the needy.