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NEWS | Dec. 16, 2021

‘Tis the season: USAFMCOM gives back to local students

By Mark R. W. Orders-Woempner U.S. Army Financial Management Command

For many, the look of pure joy and anticipation on the faces of children during the holidays makes the season a bit brighter, and that was true for the U.S. Army Financial Management Command’s senior leaders.

Col. Paige M. Jennings, USAFMCOM commander; Barry W. Hoffman, USAFMCOM deputy to the commander; Command Sgt. Maj. Kenneth F. Law, USAFMCOM senior enlisted advisor; and Valerie Dillon, USAFMCOM secretary to the general staff, took holiday gifts to approximately 85 students at a local childcare facility in Indianapolis Dec. 13.

“One of my most favorite things in the world is seeing the smiles and happiness in children, and our visit this week to the childcare center was one my favorite memories of this holiday season so far,” said Jennings. “Their excitement and pure joy was infectious as they sang Jingle Bells with us and received a small gift with a candy cane. These are the types of memories that we need create and continue to treasure the most.”

Each of the students received age-appropriate holiday-themed gifts like coloring books, crayons, sticker sheets and more, which were donated by USAFMCOM employees.

Palma Fikesratliff, USAFMCOM executive assistant, and Valerie Dillon, USAFMCOM secretary to the general staff, wrapped all the gifts and adorned each one with a candy cane.

“I know we really enjoy any time [USAFMCOM] can engage with our kids,” said Andrea Bergman, the childcare center’s operations manager. “It means a lot to them, and the fact that Valerie and Palma wrapped 100 gifts is above what we would ever expect.”

“The kids were just so honest and happy to receive a gift,” recalled Law. “As adults, we sometimes get frustrated if it’s not a gift we like, but kids just accept and love it. It’s a great reminder that the season is about giving.”

“It was very heartwarming and inspirational,” echoed Hoffman. “It makes you realize there’s a lot more going on in life and understand the importance of giving back and taking time to think of others outside of your normal day-to-day.”