28th OG brings holiday magic to local youth

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Denise Nevins
  • 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
Thirty volunteers from Ellsworth teamed up with Santa and Mrs. Claus to deliver donated gifts to children enrolled in the Youth & Family Services Child Development Center program in Rapid City, S.D., Dec. 17, 2015.

The Angel Tree - put on by the 28th Operations Group - provided more than 200 gifts to children in the local area.

"The Angel Tree program is such a blessing and delight for the children enrolled in YFS," said Darcie Decker, YFS community outreach director. "We know that this time of year can be a real challenge for many of the families YFS serves; some struggling just to meet the needs of their children's day to day lives. Often times, gifts for the holidays aren't something they can provide."

The purpose of the Angel Tree program is to make a difference in the lives of children and families in the local community and strengthen the relationship that Ellsworth has with Rapid City and the surrounding communities.

"Thanks to the sincere generosity of the service men and women in Ellsworth Air Force Base's 28th Operations Group, hundreds of children are able to experience the magic of the holiday season," Decker said.

The 28th OG started the Angel Tree program nine years ago as a way to give back to the community for showing their continued support.

"We actually had a 30 percent increase over last year's number of gifts," said Col. John Martin, 28th OG commander. "I consider that to be a show of the depth of gratitude the Airmen at Ellsworth have for their community."

Martin also mentioned the program is a way to share in the joy of the holidays. 

"We are so appreciative of the generosity and kindness the service men and women from EAFB show to the families we serve," Decker said. "This program is truly a holiday blessing."