Honolulu--Soldiers from the 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command donated school supplies to the Linapuni Elementary School on Feb. 1, 2013.

The donations were given to help re-supply the school with much needed items that are required throughout the school year.

"We are very grateful for the donations from the 94th AAMDC," said Mrs. Susan Kondo, the parent community networking facilitator at Linapuni Elementary School and a Honolulu native. "We have children here that live in poverty, come to school without school supplies and are less fortunate than other kids that have parents that work, so the school has to supplement them."

"Donating those school supplies to Linapuni Elementary School made me feel good because we're able to help them out in a time of need," said Sgt.1st Class Wesley R. Burton, a member of the 94th AAMDC's unit ministry team and a New Jersey native." "The 94th AAMDC tries to do this every year between Christmas and New Year, and we also help out with their field day, reading out loud program and other programs that we supply volunteers for."

Organizations across the world are having budget cuts due to various reasons.

"This is a school with a very tight budget and something as basic as paper towels are hard to come by, so we try to help out when we can," said Burton.

"With our budget being what is, there is only room for the most needed supplies like pencils, crayons and composition notebooks and donations of any kind are greatly appreciated. People don't realize that in the middle of the school year, our pencils are very short with no erasers, the books are all broken and need replacing and crayons are all unwrapped and in bits," said Kondo.
When military units are active in the community, it helps foster great working relationships.
Burton also added, "Programs like this strengthen the bond between the military installations and the local community and this is one of the reasons that we participate."

"Linapuni Elementary School would like to thank the 94th AAMDC," said Kondo. "They have always been there for us and we can always depend on the 94th AAMDC and its unit ministry team. Col. Gary Norris and Sgt. 1st Class Wesley Burton have always been dedicated to helping us and we're very appreciative of this."

Linapuni Elementary School belongs to the School Partnership Program, a partnership between Hawaii public schools and the military. The program was created in the 1980's to build a stable and consistent relationship between school and military communities.