Adopt-a-Family helps families at Christmas Published Dec. 17, 2009 By Senior Master Sgt. Joseph R. Stahl 178 FW/PA SPRINGFIELD, Ohio -- The Springfield Ohio Air National Guard base helped to make eight families' Christmas a little merrier this month through their Adopt-A-Family program. Donations of $2 or canned goods are collected at the main gate every other week on casual Friday when unit members are permitted to wear civilian attire to work. Over $11,000 was collected at the gate this past year. Roughly half of that went to the Adopt-a- Family program. Families are selected from nominations submitted by unit members. Nominees do not have to be unit members; however, each nomination must have a unit member as a sponsor. Brand-new items are purchased specifically for each family. The items purchased come directly from items requested on the nomination form. Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Elaine Henderson, 178th Fighter Wing Chaplain requests that unit members look for potential nominees throughout the year and to be as specific as possible when filling out the nomination form. The deadline is always Saturday of the November Unit Training Assembly. "It is important to talk with the family you nominate. Let them know you want to nominate them. We need their permission to be helpful, and then be as specific as possible on the nomination form - filling in all the blanks," said Chaplain Henderson. Chaplain Henderson is very encouraged with our base' s generosity. "The economy has not affected our people's spirit of giving," said Chaplain Henderson. Casual Friday donations also support the Help-a-Needy Family program which supports needy unit members throughout the year. A portion of the monetary donations and all of the canned goods go to local food pantries and other local agencies. Unit members who miss the gate collectors can give their donations directly or indirectly through their supervisor to Maj. Laura Powers, Wing Executive Officer. "So please keep paying to Casual Friday, It makes a huge impact on our base and in the community," said Chaplain Henderson. "The dollars add up and we are able to purchase all NEW clothing, merchandise and food."