by Staff Sgt. Julie Weckerlein
Air Force Print News
9/28/2005 - WASHINGTON -- In recent weeks, Air Force chapels raised thousands of dollars to provide comfort for those affected by Hurricane Katrina.
Chapel communities contributed more than $376,000 for Hurricane Katrina survivors since the storm hit three weeks ago, according to the Air Force Chief of Chaplains Office here.
“The Air Force chapel communities are being very generous and making sure our fellow Airmen and families are being taken care of,” said Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Brett Oxman, who works budgeting issues for the chaplains office at the Pentagon.
The donations came from around the world, ranging from Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., to Incirlik Air Base, Turkey.
“As soon as we heard about the catastrophe, a letter was sent out to Air Force chapels asking them to take up offerings,” said Chaplain (Maj. Gen.) Charles C. Baldwin, Air Force Chief of Chaplains. “Over the next two Sundays, money was collected. It is Air Force chapel people helping other Air Force families and whoever else is in need.”
All of the money went to Hurricane Katrina survivors. Most of the money was sent to Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., where it was distributed to the chapel teams there. The teams used the money in various ways, from gift certificates for clothing to buying food for immediate distribution.
Other organizations, such as the American Red Cross and Air Force Aid Society, received money, too. Some of the deployed chapel teams in the affected areas have extended the generosity to local shelters which house evacuees.
Chaplain Baldwin said he is thankful for the outpouring of generosity he’s seen.
“Combined, this is Air Force service before self at its best,” he said.