An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

NEWS | June 23, 2010

AADD brings volunteer spirit to Windwood Farm children

By Staff Sgt. Amanda Lotspeich Airmen Against Drunk Driving president

Most Airmen Against Drunk Driving volunteers don't get to meet all the people they protect after driving a wingman home, and in turn, never fully see the many ways they provide a positive influence to those around them.

In spite of this, driving under the influence is just one negative influence which exists in the community. There are many who are affected, but the most impressionable are children. By what is heard, seen and felt at a young age, they can be placed at risk for developing lifelong behavioral difficulties.

When AADD was formed, the goal was simple - to be a positive influence for saving lives. June 19, the group of Airmen, known best for their door-to-door service without fare or tips, set out to change lives as well, through their volunteer spirit at Windwood Farm.

Windwood Farm is a private 501(c)3 not for profit organization which is licensed by South Carolina Department of Social Services to provide intensive care, residential group home services to boys ages 5 to 16.

Many of the children at Windwood Farm have been removed from their homes due to physical, psychological, or sexual abuse; exposure to domestic violence; substance abuse or criminal activity in their family; or other unstable home situations. Caring parents also place their children with them.

Many place their child at Windwood Farm to eliminate at-risk behaviors their child is displaying through long-term therapeutic residential treatment. The boys also have the opportunity to attend school on their campus if the child has an individualized education plan that has determined they need a self-contained setting.

Windwood operates 365 days-a-year, and while the boys are in placement, they reside at the farm seven days-a-week. The farm never closes their doors.

AADD volunteers helped this organization meet their mission by painting classrooms, trimming and weeding around the houses and buildings on the farm's 110 acre plot of land, cleaning the houses the children work, play and live in, and clearing undergrowth around their baseball field. After a morning of work, members of Windwood Farm provided lunch for the children living there and volunteers to enjoy together.

The evidence that Windwood Farm is changing children's lives by motivating them to make good decisions and overcome the challenges they have faced is seen after spending even just a few minutes with them.

If not for Windwood Farm, the futures of these young boys would be far less guided. Their needs are great and ongoing. AADD plans to continue volunteering to help meet their needs, and anyone can volunteer. They are scheduled to participate in Day of Caring, Sept. 11, and are they also celebrating their 25th anniversary Nov. 6 with a festival. Both events will require help.

Volunteers for AADD save countless lives every weekend by keeping drunk drivers off the roads and educating Airmen about drinking responsibly. Taking responsibility for one's actions not only keeps people safe - it sets a positive example for children, like those living at Windwood Farm, and hopefully influences them to be responsible and make good decisions.

To volunteer with AADD, call 963-3535 or e-mail the AADD organizational inbox at