By Anniston Army Depot Public Affairs OfficeDecember 13, 2019
ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala. -- The depot delivered Christmas presents for 182 children in protective custody with the Calhoun County Department of Human Resources Dec. 12.
"This is indicative of the kind of people we have at the depot, at the Anniston Munitions Center and the Defense Logistics Agency and what they think of the community," said Col. Marvin Walker, ANAD's commander.
"They didn't have to do this. They gave their time, their money and their effort because they care. They care about other people and they care about the community," he added.
The presents will be distributed to the families by DHR case workers in time to be opened on Christmas.
For each child, employees were able to give gifts valued between $175 and $200. This means depot and tenant employees gave over $31,850 in support of children in our surrounding communities.
Chrissy Bolen, a division secretary for the depot's Directorate of Production, participated for the first time this year.
"Shopping for these kids -- it's like you got to know them a little bit based on what they wanted and what they needed," she said.
One of the children Bolen and her husband shopped for was handicapped, which was a touching experience for her.
"I didn't realize how moved I was going to be until I started shopping for him," said Bolen.
Christmas Cheer also allows depot employees to sponsor installation families. These are coworkers who experienced hardships this year and have financial needs.
Installation families are anonymous to contributors -- only identified by a number and the family's situation. They have been approved for the program through depot leadership.
This year, four depot families are being sponsored by coworkers, who provided $6,989 and a variety of gifts for the family members.
The depot's history with the Christmas Cheer program began in 1983 with assistance to depot employees - providing food for the holidays.
Throughout the years, many charitable organizations have benefited from employees' generosity. The program teamed up with DHR in 1997, supporting 58 children that year.