Groton-based Commands Prepare Annual Caring and Sharing Gift Boxes
GROTON, Conn. (NNS) -- Commander, Submarine Group 2 and Naval Submarine Base New London commands prepared more than 200 Thanksgiving meals in a box, Nov. 20, for the annual Caring and Sharing program that assists service members and their families in need of assistance this holiday season.
"The food boxes contain all of the fixings for a Thanksgiving meal complete with a turkey," said Legalman 1st Class Ru Li, Caring and Sharing coordinator assigned to Commander, Submarine Group 2, who has volunteered with the program since 2008.
The Caring and Sharing program was launched in the early 1990s. Sailors began volunteering in November of this year by collecting voluntary food and monetary donations for this annual drive, which will run through the middle of December.
"While we have prepared more than 200 Caring and Sharing gift boxes for Thanksgiving, after this holiday ends, we will start collecting voluntary food donations for those who request it in December," said Li.
Last year during the holiday season, 400 military families benefitted from the annual Caring and Sharing program.
Commander, Submarine Group 2's Command Master Chief (SS) Wesley Koshoffer reflected on the importance of this annual drive to assist those in need, especially during the holidays.
"This program offers a helping hand to those who would like to have a nice Holiday meal and draws on our spirit of giving," said Koshoffer. "This program is really about shipmates helping shipmates, and I am proud of both those who support and donate to the program."
This year, other services benefited from the annual Caring and Sharing Program. Service members and their families from the Army, U.S. Coast Guard and Navy received Caring and Sharing boxes.
Li added that each food box is direct proportion with the family. A family of four will receive one gift box, whereas a family of six will receive two gift boxes.
Other recipients of the gift boxes include surviving spouses of service members who live in the area and have expressed a need through the SUBASE New London's Fleet and Family Support Center.
Li added that in addition to military families other beneficiaries of the food boxes are relief organizations in the area.
"Additional donations not included in the gift boxes are provided to the Navy Marine Corps Relief food locker and local food bank in New London County," said Li. "This program is not just about helping military families, but the community at large."
The commands, in addition to COMSUBGRU 2 staff personnel participating in this year's Caring and Sharing program, include Naval Submarine School, Navy Information Operations Detachment Groton, New London Submarine Base Ambulatory Care Center, Naval Submarine Support Facility, and Naval Undersea Medical Institute.