YUSIFIYAH, Iraq - One hundred families in the Yusifiyah area, southwest of Baghdad, benefit as U.S. and Iraqi soldiers target their villages during a humanitarian aid mission, Jan. 3.
Soldiers of Company A, 150th Armored Reconnaissance Squadron, and the 1472nd Civil Affairs Team attached to the 30th Heavy Brigade Combat Team and Iraqi Army 17th Division Soldiers, disbursed blankets, quilts, kerosene heaters, children's clothing, school supplies and pre-packaged bags of food donated from U.S. charitable organizations.
The commander's emergency relief fund was used to purchase items distributed in the Hasameet, Setoah and Zobai regions; the most deprived segment of Alpha Troops' area of operations. The villages hurt agriculturally mainly because they are not located on main routes or near water sources.
"Heaters and blankets were purchased through the brigade [commander's emergency relief fund]," said civil affairs officer 1st Lt. Adam Stickley, of Leeton, Mo. "Beyond Orders and the Hugs Foundation sent in items for this drop, along with private donations from citizens of West Virginia."
Beyond Orders is an organization developed by a group of U.S. veterans from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They set-up a website for U.S. Servicemembers to request specific items needed in the Iraqi communities in their area of operations.
The Web site posts requests from Soldiers stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan matching them with private donors to include individuals and organizations who pledge to send items for needy people in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The Hugs Foundation campaigns for donations to fund deliveries of care packages containing cooling scarves, homemade goods, toiletries and snacks to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"The Hugs Foundation sent us some games, toys and about 50 quilts made by retired ladies," said Stickley. "Beyond Orders sent most of the children's clothes disbursed."
"They were excited and actually pretty well organized as we gave out the supplies," said civil affairs noncommissioned officer, Staff Sgt. Michael Hawf, of St. Louis.
"Giving the children clothing and seeing the expressions of joy as they receive something that they need and can use is rewarding," said Hawf. "It's absolutely amazing that we are able to make an impact on people's lives."