INDIAN WELLS, Calif. --
Last year, with Thanksgiving looming, and a newborn baby in their house, a lance corporal and his wife couldn’t afford to have a proper traditional holiday meal.
The Armed Services YMCA stepped in and gave him a gift certificate from Stater Bros. Markets for a traditional meal for the whole family to enjoy.
Members of the Indian Wells Rotary Club, who have adopted a company of Combat Center Marines donated gift certificates to the ASYMCA’s holiday program Monday to help Marines and sailors afford the upcoming holiday season.
The club adopted the Headquarters and Service Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment and donated, through the ASYMCA, 100, $50 gift certificates to Stater Bros. to help as many of the company’s 190 Marines as possible.
“We might not have enough gift certificates for all of the Marines,” said first Sgt. Michael Woods, H and S Co.’s first sergeant. “But we will have enough to help the married Marines and the ones who are struggling.”
The ASYMCA’s mission is to serve active duty military members and their families, said Anita Neu-Fultz, the executive director of the Combat Center’s ASYMCA.
“We work as a conduit between civilians and the military to help give back to the Marines,” said the Albuquerque, N.M., native.
She said in the past, civilian enterprises wanted to give Marines and sailors turkeys and other food products for the holidays. However, it was not logistically possible considering there was not enough space and refrigeration available aboard the installation.
This, along with the variety of traditional foods each family eats, she credits as the reason gift cards are donated instead of actual food.
The members of the Indian Wells Rotary Club said they want to support the Marines and sailors who fight for their freedom.
“This club has strong ties to the military,” said Floyd Rhoades, the president of the rotary club. “A lot of our members are retired military and we try to give back to the military as much as we can.
“There is no way we could ever fully give back to [the military] for all they do for us, but we’re trying our best to make their lives just a little easier and more fulfilled – it means a lot to us to be connected to the military,” he added.
The rotary club’s contributions to the Marines and sailors are more than generous and assuredly appreciated, Woods said.
Rhoades said the club works to complete at least three projects a year to help the military and will sponsor some of the soap box derby cars in June.