HONOLULU - The Tripler Army Medical Center (TAMC) Junior Officer Council (JOC) jumped into the spirit of giving this season by sponsoring a hospital-wide Thanksgiving Basket Competition.

The TAMC JOC challenged TAMC and U.S. Army Health Clinic-Schofield Barracks (USAHC-SB) staff to create Thanksgiving baskets -- each containing a complete Thanksgiving meal.

2LT Brittany Sciba, member of the TAMC JOC and CPT Tanekkia Taylor-Clark, President, TAMC JOC spearheaded the coordination of this community service event with members of the TAMC and USAHC-SB staff representing 21 different outpatient clinics, inpatient units, and administrative offices.

The TAMC JOC partnered with a local food bank, Feeding Hawaii Together, who provided names of local families around Oahu who were facing financial hardship this season and the TAMC and USAHC-SB company commanders, who provided names of well deserving Army families stationed at TAMC and USAHC-SB to receive baskets.

On 15 November 2012, twenty-five Thanksgiving baskets from out-patient clinics, inpatient units, and administrative offices entered the competition. The baskets were judged on a scale of 1 to 5 in four categories: creativity, originality, holiday cheer, and overall presentation.

The four Thanksgiving baskets that emerged on the top of the heap from this friendly competition were from the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, 6B1-General Surgery Unit, 5B2-Mother-Baby Unit and 5B1- Obstetrics and Gynecology Unit. These 25 creative and festive Thanksgiving baskets were personally delivered by members of the TAMC JOC and volunteers from 6B1 General Surgery Unit to the nominated Soldiers and families across Oahu.

"Leading this community service project was a great opportunity and proved to be extremely rewarding," 2LT Sciba said. "I originally thought that we would only be able to donate one basket, but the response from the TAMC and USAHC-SB staff was overwhelming."

The TAMC JOC Thanksgiving Basket competition increased morale and motivated the spirit of giving at TAMC and USAHC-SB while creating a platform to bring holiday cheer to both our Army families and families in our local Hawaiian community.

"The TAMC JOC is committed to developing junior officers into future leaders," CPT Taylor-Clark said. "We take pride in upholding the Army values and making a difference in our community."

The families that received these Thanksgiving baskets have expressed their sincere gratitude to the Tripler ohana.