January 8, 2016

Santa’s Workshop provides holiday cheer

By Gustavo Bahena
Public Affairs Office
Photo by Michael Beaton, MEDDAC PAO
Susan Taylor, Delilah Wieman and Samantha Wieman volunteered to collect, sort and prepare gift bags for the Santa’s Workshop program. Susan and Delilah are military spouses; Samantha is the daughter of Delilah.

The Fort Irwin Center Chapel brought smiles to children’s faces this holiday season with gifts through the Santa’s Workshop program.

The program was established to assist Soldiers and their families by providing up to three gifts, a book, and a family game per child, said Delilah Wieman – a military spouse here and volunteer coordinator for the program. Some families also received diapers, wipes and clothing.

Wieman, wife of Col. Jason Wieman (commander of United States Army Medical Department Activity), stated that more than 100 families and 250 children received support from Santa’s Workshop.

Wieman credited chaplains and chaplain assistants for communicating information to units and Soldiers about the program.

Gifts and other items distributed were provided by donations.

“We have received generous donations from our local community, as well as various organizations,” Wieman said. “These donations are intended to bless the Soldiers and their families, support those in our community that are in need, as well as reduce stress in the household.”

Organizations that supported Santa’s Workshop included: Fort Irwin Military and Civilian Spouses Club, Bob Hope USO-Ontario, Smile Dentistry, Silver Lake Community Church, Helendale American Legion, Rancho Cucamonga American Legion, For Families of Active Military, Front Sight Military Ministry, Operation Mila’s Toy Trunk, Hero’s Child, Oak Design Corporation, Arise and Restore Thrift Store, Trinity Equipment Rentals and Jack Immendorf Investigations.

Wieman thanked all those who donated and MEDDAC for donating space to store the toys and providing a venue for distributing them. She also expressed appreciation to volunteers for countless hours collecting, sorting and preparing gift bags and to chaplains Col. Gary Gross and Lt. Col. John Morales for their guidance and support.

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