SAN DIEGO – Sailors from the Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions (CSADD) chapter aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5) held a week-long clothing drive on board the ship, Jan. 27-31.
CSADD volunteers erected a box in the hangar bay where service members could bring in used clothing items they wished to donate.
“I know I have a lot of clothes that I don’t wear at all and I thought, instead of just throwing them away or letting them sit there, why not donate them,” said Aviation Machinist’s Mate 3rd Class Alana Swann, a native of Jacksonville, Fla., and acting public affairs representative for Peleliu’s CSADD chapter. “I think a lot of Sailors probably have the same problem and, after going downtown and seeing a lot of people lying on the street, I brought the idea of a clothes drive to the [CSADD] cabinet board.”
CSADD, which is comprised of junior enlisted Sailors, is primarily designed to guide Sailors away from making poor and destructive decisions by providing positive and dynamic training. Peleliu’s chapter of CSADD has interpreted this to involve community volunteer service as well.
“We’re helping our Sailors out by having them help others,” said Swann. “You really get a better feeling about yourself when you’re able to give back to your community.”
Volunteer service through CSADD allows Peleliu Sailors the opportunity to give back to local communities as well as develop skills in networking, teambuilding and leadership. Sailors have also shown to develop a positive sense of self-worth which can aid in the CSADD mission to prevent destructive behavior.
“The reason why we do volunteer work is we want CSADD to be known for not only helping just Sailors, but to just help period,” said Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Fuels) 3rd Class Liz Camacho-Gonzalez of Warminster, Penn., president of Peleliu’s CSADD chapter. “A lot of us actually love doing community service, so why not use CSADD to help the homeless?”
Donated clothing articles will be distributed to the needy through various homeless and battered women shelters. Uniform items will be donated to the Naval Base San Diego thrift shop to benefit the Navy and Marine Corps Relief Society.
Overall, the clothing drive has been positively received by the crew and, if donations continue to be received, the clothing drive will be extended for another week.
Peleliu is currently undergoing a planed maintenance availability period in preparation for its next scheduled deployment.