By Sgt. SHARIFA NEWTONApril 3, 2019
Fort Campbell's Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers recently volunteered at Manna Cafe Ministries.
The local food ministry serves people in need throughout Montgomery County through a mobile soup kitchen, food box distribution and other vital resources.
"I came here today to help out the community," said Spc. Sireena Chansomphou, A Company, 626th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division. "One of the most important things to me is to share the happiness with everyone, so that why this event is important to me."
BOSS volunteers made deliveries Nov. 18 to The Liberty Church, Lincoln Homes Projects and made distributions at the Veterans Plaza parking lot in Clarksville.
"Manna Cafe is one of the soup kitchens that we participate in here within the community," said Staff Sgt. Cody A. Mackall, Fort Campbell's BOSS president, 2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 3rd BCT. BOSS is a program that supports the overall quality of life for single Soldiers. It identifies well-being issues and concerns by recommending improvements through the chain of command while encouraging and assisting Soldiers in identifying and planning for recreational and leisure activities.
In addition, BOSS provides single Soldiers the opportunity to participate in and contribute to their respective communities.
"BOSS started working with Manna Cafe Ministries in 2009 and has been with them at least once a month since then," Mackall said. "The idea came from the BOSS MWR adviser, Neicey Davis, as a way to build community relations and assist with the homeless, and homeless veterans, in the Clarksville area."
For instance, BOSS volunteers helped out at Manna Cafe by loading empty food storage containers into a truck then unloading the containers at their warehouse. Next, they split into teams to wash and dry the containers, then came together to separate and store items donated to the ministry.
While washing dishes and storing items might not seem like a glamourous job, Mackall said volunteering in the community is important. He said with Soldiers volunteering at a soup kitchen the civilian community sees Soldiers in different light, which builds a positive image not only of the BOSS program and the 101st Airborne Division, but the U.S. Army.
"Volunteering is essential to me for a numerous amount of reasons. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it makes ones heart all warm and fuzzy on the inside while doing so," Mackall said. "When we walk into Manna Cafe, it is so nice to watch some of the faces of the homeless brighten to see active-duty Soldiers show up to help the less fortunate within the community."
Single Soldiers who are interested in volunteering in the surrounding communities should seek out or contact their unit BOSS representative.