PEARL HARBOR - Traditionally in America, Thanksgiving kicks off the holiday season. For many, one of the best parts of the season is the chance to feast, to share and to, well, be thankful.
The Sailors from USS Halsey (DDG 97) spent the month of November participating in a whole host of efforts to help those in need, from food baskets and toy drives to fun runs and volunteering their time.
On Nov. 22, Halsey Sailors delivered upwards of 300 pounds of food and Thanksgiving supplies to the YMCA Food Basket Drive, more than tripling their original goal of 100 pounds. The YMCA Food Basket Drive provides food for those servicemen and women who cannot support themselves or their families on such occasions when buying a turkey is commonplace.
The purpose of the food drive is to remove the strain that would have otherwise been placed on the families at a time that is meant for thanks, reflection, and sharing.
Additionally, regular participants in the Lighthouse Outreach “Feed the Homeless Project,” the evening prior to Thanksgiving, HALSEY Sailors, led by Logistics Specialist 1st Class (SW) Kristian Fabian again gave of their time, volunteering to, in the words of Ship’s Serviceman 3rd Class Olyen Scott, “give back to those who can’t support themselves.”
On the lighter side, many across the nation and Navy have made a mark in November with an increased growth in facial hair as a symbol of awareness of men’s health issues.
At 8 a.m. on Nov. 23, nearly 20 members of the Halsey family gathered on Ford Island, sported genuine and artificial mustaches in the spirit of “Mustache Movember,” and participated in a 5k run for men’s health and cancer awareness.
“It was fun, really fun,” said Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Devin Schefano. “I was running with my child in a stroller.”
Good, clean fun and exercise, in lieu of a good clean shave, was had by all and the Surface Navy Association organizers raised $2,500 for the American Cancer Society.
In the coming weeks, Halsey’s Coalition of Sailors against Destructive Decisions (CSADD) will be teaming up with the Shriners Hospital Holiday Drive to benefit children who are suffering from incurable, fatal, or debilitating diseases and conditions.
This effort to donate children’s toys, books, and activities will be led by the current president of CSADD, Damage Controlman 2nd Class Leauwandeau Clarke. CSADD is driving for contributions from this effort to be the biggest yet.
Fabian, a recent recipient of the Navy League Sea Service Award, said she regards all of these efforts as a means to become a greater and more positive force within the community, better leaders within the Navy, and more grateful Sailor-citizens.
So, it is with big hearts, lots of energy, and a lot of holiday spirit that Halsey hopes to make this season brighter and happier for our families and communities.