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Woodbridge Senior High School JROTC Service Learning = Christmas and Holiday Giving:

December 2015
Christmas and Holiday Giving

Our two Woodbridge Senior High School Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps Viking Battalion Selfless Service Project concluded this week.  This year we collaborated with Prince William County Foster Care Program, Bethany House and New Hope Church. Selfless Service is one of the Army’s Seven Core Values. Through this value, the cadets learn to put the welfare of others before their own, sustain team morale, share subordinates’ hardships, and to give credit to others and accept responsibility for failure themselves.

Many of the cadets this year continued our Christmas tradition of donating two dollars or more to help others in need to have a great Christmas holiday. The cadets provided over $150.00 of gift cards from several fast food restaurants for teenage Foster youth in Prince William County.   According to Mrs. Julia Blakely, Department of Social Services, Team Lead and Senior Social Worker, PWC Foster Care Program, “while it is not intentional, teens are sometimes overlooked in favor or of young children during the Christmas season.  The restaurant food gift cards are going to youth in treatment facilities or group homes so that they have the option of purchasing food out when they EARN passes in the community.”
Mrs. Blakely thanked the cadets for their efforts and noted that our project of gift cards is being duplicated by other individuals and organizations contacting her office to make donations to those who may have a difficult Christmas.

Mrs. Cynthya Pagan-Hale, a Coordinator from Bethany House, contacted the Viking Battalion to again help Bethany House make Christmas a brighter day for several children in our community.‖ As a result of this team effort, the cadets wrapped over 100 gifts that were donated by the Marine Corps Toys for Tots program to the Bethany House of Northern Virginia. Mrs. Hale states, “―I am so thankful of the support I received each year from the cadets.”  We have come to rely on the hard work of the cadets.  It is so exciting to see the excitement in the faces of the cadets as they wrap the gifts and the faces of the youth who open the gifts during our Christmas party.  Each of the cadets in the program each wrapped one or two gifts. 
According to JROTC Instructor, First Sergeant (Retired) Daniel Jackson, our support of Bethany House is an event that the cadets look forward to each year.  While some see it as a nice holiday event, I enjoy seeing leaders surface during the gift distribution and team wrapping. Classroom leadership activities and training are accomplished in a fun and spirit of peace on earth and good will to all. It really doesn’t get better than this, Hooah!”


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