FORT IRWIN, Calif. — The Military and Civilian Spouses Club of Fort Irwin awarded 33 grants totaling $33,000 to support Fort Irwin units, schools and community groups in November.
The grants represent a key component of the club’s mission: to give back to the Fort Irwin community, according to Emilie Lamb, MCSC’s Second Vice President and the chairperson of the club’s grants and scholarship committees. The club raises money through fundraising events, donations and thrift store sales throughout the year in order to provide grants and scholarships to community members and organizations. Last year, the club gave back $110,000 to the community. Lamb attributes the grant program’s success to the sense of camaraderie at Fort Irwin.
“I really think it is that mentality of, we’re all here together, so we need to support each other and we need to do whatever we can to make this post a better place and a better experience for everyone,” Lamb said.
The club awards grants in two cycles – fall and spring. The 33 fall cycle grants, awarded this month, ranged from about $200 up to $2,500. The money will fund a variety of organizations and activities on post. Several units, including the 916th Support Brigade and Operations Group, received funding to provide childcare for their military balls.
Other grants went to support the Momma & Kiddo workout group, and to help the Heavy ArmHER Roller Derby team buy skates that will allow prospective members to try out for the team. Still others will help fund school programs and supplies at each of the schools attended by Fort Irwin students, including Lewis Elementary School, Tiefort Intermediate School, Fort Irwin Middle School and Silver Valley High School.
“MCSC means a world of difference to our military kids, our students in general, our teachers,” said Heidi Chavez, principal of Fort Irwin Middle School. “We couldn’t do some of the things we do at Fort Irwin Middle School, or even the other two sites – Lewis and Tiefort—without the support from our military spouses. We wholeheartedly thank all the efforts they put forward to give back to our students, to give back to our teachers, because without them, some of these things would not be happening.”
The MCSC grants are open to nearly any unit or organization on Fort Irwin, as long as it serves the community, according to Lamb. She said the club looks to maximize the number of people who benefit from the money.
“We’re really proud of how we are able to support the community, and we’re very happy the community is attending our fundraisers and helps us raise all this money. So we want them to know where this money is going,” she said. “It is a bunch of great people, great organizations, and they are all very, very happy for all of the money they have received.”
More information about MCSC events, fundraising and grants can be found at http://www.mcscftirwin.org/.