FORT RILEY, Kan. - With the holiday season here, the spirit of giving was in full swing as Soldiers from the 101st Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division banded together in order to provide their fellow Soldiers and their Families with food during a food drive Dec. 18 at their headquarters building.

Each company raised money and received donations in order to fill more than 100 bags worth of food and hygiene products to be distributed first to Soldiers and Families who are in need, and then to the Fort Riley United Service Organizations.

"Our motto is 'Let us carry the burden,' and the Guardians definitely stepped up to the plate by donating and collecting all this food," said Private 1st Class Faith McGill, a chaplain's assistant for Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 101st BSB.

Each Family received three bags of food filled with items such as canned vegetables, cereal and rice, as well as one bag of hygiene products which included diapers for babies.

"We organized this so that Families would be able to guarantee food for their loved ones, and they could spend the money on some more gifts for the children," McGill said.

As an added bonus, senior noncommissioned officers and officers in the battalions pitched in to buy each Family a turkey.

"It's important to let the Soldiers know that we're all part of a team and that we are here for them - whether it's in combat or during the holiday season," said Lt. Col. Brandon Grubbs, commander of 101st BSB.

While most of the donations were given by Soldiers and Families in the surrounding area, some goods were received from across the country.

"We've received food packages from Family members as far away as California," Grubbs said. "So this goes to show you the level of commitment and camaraderie that we have here where people are willing to help out no matter the distance."

The food drive was such a success that food left over was donated to the USO, where it was used for the 'No Dough Dinners.' In these dinners, which take place each month before pay day, the USO cooks a free meal for Soldiers and Families on post.

The success of the event was attributed to the support received by everybody within the organization.

"Without the support of the chain of command, the Soldiers and their Families, we would never have been able to put this event together, much less gather enough food for the Families that needed it," McGill said. "I am truly proud of my organization and the work we've done in order to help out our fellow comrades."