Whether it’s volunteering, organizing local events or donating a delivery truck worth of clothes to local charities across Las Vegas, the Airmen at Creech Air Force Base, Nev., do it in style.
Staff Sgt. Sojourner and Senior Airman Johana, 432nd Maintenance Squadron MQ-9 training instructors and clothing drive coordinators, took over their unit’s clothing drive and turned it into a competition.
“People are moving, deploying and everyone has been stuck in the house for almost a year and a half,” Sojourner said. “It’s the perfect time to do a spring-cleaning clothing drive.”
The drive ran for 60 days and encouraged everyone to go through their closet for unused items in good condition.
“We told them to give us anything,” Sojourner said. “We’ll take toys, we’ll take shoes, we’ll take sports gear, we’ll take anything you have and sort it all out.”
To incentivize units to donate more, Sojourner and Johana, declared whichever unit contributed the most in the 432nd Maintenance Group would get the sweet reward of donuts in the end.
With the gauntlet thrown and the rules announced, the clothing drive’s donations soared.
For 60 days Airmen and civilian contractors around Creech donated to the drive. The final count of items donated across the installation was 2,267 items of clothing.
The 432nd MXG’s Munitions Flight won the competition decisively with a total of 857 items donated.
“At first they didn’t give anything,” Sojourner said. “Then in the last couple weeks they came in and handed over 857 items and blew every other unit out of the water.”
After the donation period came to an end, several volunteers including Sojourner and Johana separated and organized the clothes for three days and then delivered it to local shelters in Vegas.
“The volunteer coordinators were surprised to see us pull up in a moving truck full of donations,” Johana said. “A lot of people struggled through COVID lockdowns and I hope that the donations can help.”
Johana said the clothing drive made a difference and the secret to its success was advertising, planning and most importantly the people.
“I know a lot of people that struggled through COVID,” Johana said. “It can be hard for people in shelters, and fresh clothes can help.”
According to Johana, the clothing drive also brought people closer together as a squadron.
“I’m new to this squadron,” Johana said. “So, this helped me get to meet a lot of people and also brought us together with a common goal. We want to thank everyone that donated and volunteered.”