Making the world a better place: McChord Airmen volunteer to make a difference

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Colleen Anthony
  • 62d Airlift Wing

According to the Air Force’s Enlisted Core Structure, along with professionalism and proficiency Airmen should have the willingness to serve their community, something that members of Team McChord take to heart.

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Bernadette Jacinto grew up in Saipan of the Northern Mariana Islands where being a part of the community meant volunteering. 

 “I started volunteering at a young age,” said Jacinto. “I can’t pinpoint what spurred me to help others but little things like helping my parents out in their home side projects made me feel important.”

Through beach cleanups, school events and church service wherever she went in life, she always stepped up to help her community. Now as a personnelist with the 627th Force Support Squadron, 21-year-old Jacinto continues volunteering in a variety of ways.

 “Shortly after joining the military, I started helping at the Airman’s attic at my technical school, and now I am a part of our unit’s booster club, serve as our unit’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response training facilitator and have been leading the efforts in organizing donations to be sent to those affected in the Maui fires.”

The local Maui Lahaina Relief Fund Jacinto founded received over six pallets worth of donations from Joint Base Lewis-McChord but has hit roadblocks in sending these donations to the people of Lahaina, something she and her peers continue to work on.

“Our challenges have been getting the supplies to Maui,” said Jacinto. “Shipping the amount of supplies we received will cost thousands of dollars that we haven’t funded yet.”

Although the 627th FSS community has rallied behind this issue there is still a great need for more assistance to ensure these efforts aid in the recovery of the Maui community.

 For U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Janell La Guardia, a fellow personnelist with the 627th FSS who assisted in raising donations for Maui, volunteering is a way to give back to all the people who helped her when she was growing up.

“My drive to volunteer stems from how I grew up; people doing kind things to help me, and my siblings really impacted me,” said La Guardia. “So, I live by doing acts of kindness because it could change someone’s life by taking some of the stress off.”

Whether it’s for Maui or JBLM, our Airmen are working to give back and support those in need, exemplifying one of the Air Force’s core values: service before self.

If you would like to help with the volunteer efforts for Maui fires, please reach out to your squadron’s first sergeant for more donation information or volunteer opportunities.