NEWS | Dec. 24, 2014

Shop with an Airman: Holiday wishes realized for local children

By Senior Airman Tom Brading Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

It's the most wonderful time of the year, especially for a few deserving children from Lambs Elementary School. 

The "Shop With An Airman" program gave deserving students from the school the opportunity to shop for the holidays with Airmen from the 15th Airlift Squadron. Guidance counselors and social workers at the school picked the students  .

The program paired each Airman with a child for a shopping excursion at a local retailer.
This was the first year for locally for the "Shop with an Airman" Program. Heritage Trust Credit Union, LowCountry Custom Golf, R&R Trucking, the 15th AS Booster Club and several private donors donated more than $2,700 to kick it off.

"Thanks to the generous donations from local businesses and squadron members, our squadron was able to shop with 18 underprivileged  elementary students Dec. 20," said Capt. Matthew McCandless, 15th Airlift Squadron C-17 Globemaster III pilot.

Every child was given a $150 gift card to buy presents for themselves and their family. In addition, they were given food, gift-wrapping and a chance to meet Santa Claus. Airmen were paired with students to mentor and assist the children with their shopping, and to just "hang out," giving the children a chance to interact in a positive environment with military members.

Some of the most popular toys the children purchased were bicycles, Nerf guns, Barbie dolls and accessories, and video games.

Although this year the 15th AS and their families were involved in the project, McCandless hopes to grow the program and include more squadrons next year.