United Military Care helped outfit hundreds of families for fall and winter at its recent Kids Serve Too event.
The Sept. 19 clothing and shoe giveaway drew more than 1,200 people to Bryant Commons in Hinesville. Military service members — including active-duty, retirees and veterans — and their families were eligible to receive the items, and volunteers helped keep the offerings tidy and assisted “shoppers” with their selections. Those who couldn’t make it that day had the chance to attend a second giveaway on Sept. 21.
As they perused the clothing, footwear and accessories, military families enjoyed free hot dogs, potato chips and drinks, courtesy of GeoVista Credit Union, which has been supporting United Military Care events for several years through sponsorships and volunteer efforts.
Others who lent a hand include Coastal Girl Scout Troop 30630 and Coastal Girl Scout board members, Hinesville Disabled American Veterans Chapter 46 Auxiliary, Veterans of Foreign Wars Walter F. George Post 6602 Auxiliary, Hinesville Military Affairs Committee and the Liberty County High School Junior ROTC. The Hinesville Downtown Development Authority permitted United Military Care to hold the giveaway at Bryant Commons for free.
UMC Vice President Christina Anthony said the event was designed to show that the community recognizes the sacrifices military children make as they contend with numerous moves, enroll in new schools, make new friends and deal with their parents’ deployments.
“We wanted to do this to provide morale for our military families — to show that we in Hinesville recognize the sacrifices that they are making and to say, ‘thank you.’ We want to help unite the Hinesville community with our military community,” Anthony said. “We also want to make military members aware of United Military Care and of what we do and the services that we provide for them. We are in need of more support from the local community to help our military families.”
GeoVista Vice President of Branch Operations Barbara Martin-VanDuser agreed that UMC is a valuable resource to the military community, which is why her company contributed to Kids Serve Too by providing food.
“For several years, our employees have been volunteering at events in support of United Military Care,” VanDuser said. “Christina is very energetic and driven to provide the means necessary to better our soldiers’ lives. We are proud to be playing a small part in it.”
Anthony said giveaway items for children — including winter clothing and coats in sizes newborn to 12 years — were donated by Carter’s, OshKosh B’Gosh, Gymboree, Mizuno, David’s Bridal and Toys R Us.
United Military Care, at 400 N. Main St. in Hinesville near Fort Stewart’s gate 2, gives goods to children of active-duty and retired service members, including those who were medically retired. The only thing required to receive the items is a military identification card.
“We are always looking for monetary donations to assist us with our overhead costs, but we will also accept donations of household goods and food to provide to our military families,” Anthony said.
For more information on United Military Care or to make a donation, call 912-877-1340 or go to www.unitedmilitarycare.org.