Volunteers: The Heart of the Army Community
By Chiara MattiroloAugust 4, 2020
Volunteers make a meaningful difference in the lives of Soldiers and Families every day. On Thursday, Aug. 30, the Camp Darby Community joined to celebrate the incredible value of volunteer service in a recognition ceremony held outside the garrison headquarters building, under the Tuscan pine trees.Due to COVID-19 preventive measures, chairs were displayed in mandatory distance and attendees to the Volunteer Recognition Ceremony wore face masks, but this did not alter the emotional involvement of the ceremony held at Camp Darby.Thirty-one volunteers helping at the unit-level, in schools or assisting one of the organizations on post were recognized in this annual ceremony.“We recognize today 31 Camp Darby Service members, Civilians, and Family members who have contributed their time to help improve our community’s quality of life,” said Deputy Garrison Manager Robert Chartier.This year’s theme of the volunteer program is “Volunteers: The Heart of the Army Community”.“This theme could not be more appropriate for our small community, said Chartier. “Volunteers bring their time and talents to an installation that does not have the manpower resources to match our requirements. For our small Darby Military Community, geographically separated from the mail hub in Vicenza, the benefits of our volunteer’s time and talents far outweighs the estimated $122,000 in services they provided,” Chartier said.Marissa Freshley is the Community Readiness and Resiliency Coordinator (CRC2) for the Darby Military Community, and in the spirit of collaboration, volunteered to help organize the ceremony.“It takes combined efforts to make Darby a great place; volunteers are what makes Camp Darby run and are truly the heart of our community,” said Freshley. “This event was a true testament to the collaboration and I am so happy we were able to honor our hard working volunteers.”The Army Community Service (ACS) facilitates the commander’s ability to provide comprehensive services that support readiness of Soldiers, Civilian employees, and their Families. At Camp Darby, this year the ACS staff has grown in numbers and services.“I look forward to serving the Camp Darby Community,” said ACS Generalist Ashley Winch. “If you see me on base say ‘hi’, let me know how I can help you because this is what I am here for.”"The energy our volunteers offer the community through their services is something that truly inspires me,” said Yasmine Lajimi, ORISE-ACS Intern. “There is nothing more exciting than sharing our love for a happy home away from home.“Everyone benefits when volunteers and community members come together to support the installation,” continued Lajimi. “I am so eager to work side by side with our wonderful community members and create forever memories of Camp Darby."