LAGO PATRIA, Italy - It was as though a well-executed military operation was being conducted this week at Allied Joint Force Command Naples with Phase II of the COVID 19 Charity Food Drive.
aMaster Warrant Officer Teresa Rodden-Aubut took charge of just under 2 tonnes of donated food, hygiene and baby products.
Assisted by a team of International Club members and Non-Commissioned Officers from across the nations of the JFC Headquarters, the volunteers organized, inventoried, and packed the supplies.
At the same time, civilian members of the NATO staff and International Club members supported by the MWA reached out to the community to plan the distribution.
The group purchased boxes, the staff made labels, the Base Support Group planned the logistics, and the Carabinieri supported the drive.
It was a team effort to take the community donations and prepare delivery to those in need.
The International Club was leading from the front delivering on its aim of connecting the community.
"The club could not have provided this aid without the support of so many different organisations," said the club's president, Carolyn Deakin. "We owe a big thank you to the Director of Management, Brigadier General Remus Bondor and the Base Support Group Commander, Colonel Michele Galantino and those who work for them. We also want to thank Padre Roberto Di Giuseppe who was our link to Mensa dei Poveri and the three local churches through which we will distribute the care packages."
"I am thankful for the donations because it is true there is great need in Naples," said Padre Roberto Di Giuseppe of the JFC Chapel, who will receive bulk items for use at Mensa dei Poveri, the soup kitchen associated with Santa Maria del Carmine Church in Naples. "The lines for food at the canteen are steady and our volunteers are working hard to feed many people."
Locally, Parrocchia Sacra Famiglia di Lago Patria, Parrocchia San Luca Evangelista and Parrocchia Santuario Maria SS Delle Grazie will each receive 20 boxes containing items along with a letter expressing support for neighbours in the Campania area who are less fortunate.
A generous donation from a couple who are soon-to-be parents enabled the club to make sure many infant/toddler specific items were included.
"It was a privilege to do the shopping for those new mums and single parent families who need help, especially since the churches expressed there was a great need for these items," said the club's treasurer, Sarah Coxon.
"What we have done in the last three weeks, is what the International Club is all about - connecting our community," Deakin said. "We care and we are grateful to be in a position where we can offer help to our local community.
LAGO PATRIA, Italy - Members from JFC Naples hand off boxes of goods collected by the International Club May 18, 2020, on JFC Naples base. Goods collected included food, dog food, and feminine hygiene products. (Photo by German Master Sgt. Florian Fergen, JFC Naples Public Affairs)