The holiday season is a time of celebrating with family and friends. However, holidays have a much different appearance for military families. Their loved one may be deployed overseas, not allowing them to celebrate together. In many circumstances their loved one has passed away, whether in combat or from other circumstances. Coping with the loss of a loved one is certainly a struggle.
The military works very hard to make sure these families do not feel alone all year, especially during the holiday season. One such program at Fort Carson is the Survivor Outreach Services. The SOS program focuses on supporting families of the fallen. One way they are able to provide such support is through their annual holiday party. The party allows families a chance to celebrate the positive in their life.
A large component of 4-H is lending hands to larger service, so the opportunity to volunteer at the SOS Holiday Party is a great opportunity to give back to the military and their families. The District 6 officers have volunteered at the party for two years. That volunteering has included doing craft activities with children attending the party, assisting Santa Claus with handing out presents and any other area they can be of assistance.
Helping with the SOS Holiday Party has been life changing to the officers that have assisted. All four youth expressed how much they enjoyed the opportunity and how eye opening it was.
Emily Weber, District 6 vice president, said, “It was really fun to see and interact with some of the kids on the Fort Carson base for their Christmas party. I helped kids make candy canes to hang on their trees, it was so great to talk to the kids and see them smile.”
Plans are already underway for next year’s holiday party and how District 6 can again be involved.
For more information on 4-H, contact your local Extension Office including Baca County at 719-523-6971; Bent County at 719-456-0764; Cheyenne County at 719-767-5716; Crowley County at 719-267-5243; Kiowa County at 719-438-5321; Otero County at 719-254-760; or Prowers County at 719-336-7734. You can also find us on the web at http://sea.extension.colostate.edu/.