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Operation Warm Heart Supports Military Members

The 28th Bomb Wing First Sergeants Council has donation boxes around base where people can donate to Operation Warm Heart, a fundraiser that gives back to military members, at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Nov. 15, 2019. The money for Operation Warm Heart is used to provide assistance to civilian government employees, their families, retires and military members who need help financially. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Quentin K. Marx)

The 28th Bomb Wing First Sergeants Council has donation boxes around base where people can donate to Operation Warm Heart, a fundraiser that gives back to military members, at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Nov. 15, 2019. The money for Operation Warm Heart is used to provide assistance to civilian government employees, their families, retires and military members who need help financially. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Quentin K. Marx)

Operation Warm Heart will give $25 Commissary gift cards during Thanksgiving to Airmen with financial troubles, at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Nov. 15, 2019. One of the biggest reasons Operation Warm Heart can exist is because of the large donations from local businesses that are supporting the organization which allows the operation to afford what it does to support Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Quentin K. Marx)

Operation Warm Heart will give $25 Commissary gift cards during Thanksgiving to Airmen with financial troubles, at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Nov. 15, 2019. One of the biggest reasons Operation Warm Heart can exist is because of the large donations from local businesses that are supporting the organization which allows the operation to afford what it does to support Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Quentin K. Marx)

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, SOUTH DAKOTA -- Operation Warm Heart is a fundraiser where anyone can donate money to the First Sergeants Council, which will in turn be gifted to military members, civilian government employees, and their families who are in need.

“The First Sergeants Council will be giving out $2,500 worth of gift cards to 100 Airmen on base for Thanksgiving,” said Master Sgt. Craig Dicks, the 28th Maintenance Squadron First Sergeant. These cards will be given out to Airmen who are going through financial struggles.

Not only do the donations come from within the Ellsworth community, the local Rapid City community also donates to ensure Airmen and their families have a happy holiday.

“One business was a local motorcycle company who gave $4,820 this year,” Dicks said. “Operation Warm Heart is meant to provide assistance to military members who need it.”

Another way Operation Warm Heart helps those in need comes in the form of travel assistance, as many Airmen cannot afford to travel or leave the state for appointments.

“One Airman couldn’t afford to pay for his hotel while travelling to go to a doctor’s appointment, so we gave him [funding] to help pay for his hotel,” Dicks said. “The fundraiser helps with more than just feeding military members but helping them with financial expenses as well.”

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