Republican women support military families
Three hours is a long way to drive for a delivery, but members of the East Lincoln Republican Women see it as a chance to serve.
Members Julia Gaskill, Patti Haley, Lynn Anderson and Riley Scoggins traveled to Fort Bragg in April to drop off supplies at The Fisher House, a nonprofit founded in 1990 for families of wounded soldiers to stay while their loved ones are treated at Womack Army Hospital.
For the third year in a row, the women packed a car with quick meals, drinks, snacks, gift cards and paper products, as well as some toys and games for residents.
Gaskill brought a stuffed bear dressed like a pilot.
“The young woman from Fisher House saw it and said, ‘It’s so nice to see stuffed toys for boys,’” Gaskill said. “One of the young children staying at the house just lost his mother, and she was going to give the bear to him.”
The women also stopped by the Womack Army Hospital, where they visited patients and gave each of them gift bags.
“Last year, there were only about five patients who wanted to have visitors,” Anderson said. “This year, we took goodie bags for 14 patients, and we probably could have taken 10 more.”
Haley said the patients were grateful to have someone thinking of them.
“Some of those people are there a long, long way from home, and that’s just our way to cheer someone up that day,” she said. “It’s hard to describe to other people the emotions that you feel.”
Riley, a sixth-grader at Lincoln Charter School’s Denver campus, joined her grandmother, Anderson, in preparing for the trip. She and her friends made cards and decorated them. They also helped fill the gift bags.
“We wanted to put something in there that was more meaningful that candy,” Riley said. “We wanted to show soldiers and their families how much we cared and how much they inspired us.”
The group participates in this and other projects as a part of the Caring for America program, Anderson said. This one in particular has her and Riley hooked.
“I’m from a military family, so I like to support our military families,” Anderson said.
Though the gift bags had only small treats and puzzles, Riley said it’s the simplicity that makes them special.
“We put in Oreos and mints. Little things like chocolate. It’s a small thing but it gives you a warm feeling,” she said.
Want to help?
To find out more about the East Lincoln Republican Women and its drives for Fisher House, call Melisa Harrison, at 704-488-3541.
For more information about Fisher House, visit www.fisherhouse.org.