Soldiers certainly give quite enough all year round, but now some paratroopers have really gone above and beyond. They partnered with the Travis Mills Foundation for a unique event, ensuring that plenty of children in need had Christmas presents this year!
Paratroopers Bring The Holiday Spirit
Every Christmas season, paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division of Fort Bragg, in North Carolina, do something amazing for children in need: the All-American Presents from Paratroopers Toy Drive (A2P2)! Each year, more than 1,000 servicemen work together to bring holiday cheer to those who need it most. This year, they’ll drop off around 2,000 toys under Christmas trees. After collecting toys from all over the state, the paratroopers delivered the toys to various non-profits and charities, including the Fort Bragg USO, the North Carolina Children’s Home Society, the Armed Services YMCA, and the Fayetteville Urban Ministry.
But that’s not all the A2P2 includes! The paratroopers also have the chance to show off their skills and have some fun. Each A2P2 concludes with a massive 600 person parachute jump, determined by raffle. Members of the Chilean military also participated, so winners earned a special foreign patch for the jump. This year, due to COVID restrictions, the jump was harder than ever. Still, with a few extra days of prep, the paratroopers wowed with a fantastic jump!
“It is an airborne training opportunity where paratroopers can maintain their proficiency, while at the same time demonstrating goodwill and help to those who are hurting especially in light of all of the hardships that we have experienced throughout this past year,” said Maj. Timothy Crawley, a chaplain with the division.
While the All-American Presents from Paratroopers Toy Drive helps poverty in North Carolina somewhat, there’s lots more to do…
Poverty In North Carolina
As you might imagine, while the 82nd Airborne Division does what they can during the holiday season, there are plenty of other organizations working to make the holidays special for the less fortunate. For instance, the North Carolina Community Action Association worked tirelessly to provide food to families who need it now. This year, they did a 12 Days of Christmas spectacular! Each day they dropped off boxes worth anywhere from $15 a person to $100 a family, with various toys and homemade meals inside. This is truly what the holidays are about. And, sadly, North Carolina might need the Christmas spirit more than any state.
In the entire United States, North Carolina ranks one of the poorest and hardest hit by coronavirus. Unfortunately, research shows that children in this state have a 21% chance to live in poverty, and a 43% chance of coming from a low-income home. While the numbers for 2020 have yet to come in, experts are not incredibly optimistic. Due to COVID-19, North Carolina could be looking at a rough few years ahead.
Thankfully, people are hard at work, ensuring that those in need do not go without what they need. However, we shouldn’t wait around for paratroopers or non-profits. If you’re lucky enough to be doing okay this holiday season, consider taking a look online and seeing where you can donate and do some good! That’s what the holidays are all about, after all!