For the fourth year, Fort Irwin received more than bundles of good cheer from a Southern California based non-profit, For Families of Active Military (FFAM). On Nov. 23, a busload of students from La Salle High School, a private high school in Pasadena, landed at Fort Irwin’s Town Center to spend their day to help decorate walls of storefronts, lampposts and trees on Goldstone Avenue with Christmas wreathes, banners and lights on.
Janet Ford, Fort Irwin’s Family, Morale Welfare and Recreation Department’s special events coordinator said, “I and the outdoor recreation team totally enjoyed the experience of working with Bridget Bhlem and the students from La Salle Catholic High School. Even though it was raining and chilly, we all worked together to make Towne Center festive for the Soldiers and their Families during the holiday season.”
To brighten families of Soldiers with their Thanksgiving meal, FFAM also arranged for 50 turkey donations and a hundred food boxes brimming with fixings for traditional Thanksgiving meals, in coordination with the post’s Army Emergency Relief office.
For the Thanksgiving holiday, FFAM arranged for several families in Yorba Linda to welcome military families to their waterfront homes for dinner, boat rides to view Christmas lights, karaoke singing and cheering their favorite football teams on large screen TVs.
After Thanksgiving, La Salle High School returns with more cheer, as over a hundred Christmas trees purchased through their fund-raising efforts will be distributed to lucky Soldier families in early December, in coordination with Fort Irwin’s Army Emergency Relief office.
Executive director and FFAM co-founder Bridget Blehm said her organization began in 2006 as she and others became aware of the hardships of military families.
“We wanted to give back to those who sacrifice so much on our country’s behalf,” Blehm said.