Clothing drive helps nearby community

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HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah — Many Hill Air Force Base individuals and organizations participated in a base-wide clothing drive during the month of March. The donations provided around 3,000 items of clothing for The Lantern House and St. Anne’s Center in Ogden.

Tech. Sgt. Tanner Atwood, 75th Logistics Readiness Squadron Vehicle Maintenance, was one of the main organizers of the drive. Atwood came up with the idea a couple years ago with one of his Airman and organized a similar drive in 2016.

“Utah is really cold in the winter as we all know,” said Atwood. “We were walking down 25th Street in Ogden and noticed that there were dozens of homeless moving around to stay warm. We felt bad for the bunch we saw and got interested in the idea to help others in need.”

In order to get the word out across the base, Atwood contacted his first sergeant to reach out to others in the First Sergeant’s Council and with their support, Airmen from various squadrons across base volunteered to help.

Pick-ups of the clothing were done every week at various locations across base and then sorted and dropped off at the charities April 12.

The Lantern House is a homeless shelter and St. Anne’s Center is a local social services organization associated with the Lantern House, which provides support for women with children.

“Being able to help other people always feels good and I’m a firm believer that we need to take a few moments of our lives to help others in need. That’s why are we here,” said Atwood.

Ryan Molgard, who works as the warehouse manager at St. Anne’s Center, said the Airmen who dropped off the donations are very much appreciated.

“It’s wonderful. It helps us out so much,” said Molgard. “Every little bit gets used all year round, especially in the winter.”

Atwood hopes that this drive will become a yearly outreach event on Hill, even after he moves on to a new base.

“The most important thing our team could hope to get out of this project is for the local community to see firsthand that we care about them, and appreciate them,” he said. “Through our efforts, I hope that this will shine a positive light on our already great relationship with the local community.”