KINGSLEY FIELD, Ore. --
The 173rd Fighter Wing Comptroller Flight, commonly known as the finance office, organized a food drive to support the Klamath-Lake Counties Food Bank, which garnered a total food donation of 44,840 pounds—more than double what they donated during their food drive last year. This is the fourth year this office has coordinated this fundraiser.
The food bank’s program provides short-term help for a variety of needs. According to their website, those needs include moving from receiving welfare to work, seasonal unemployment, and financial hardship brought on by an illness or an injury.
“This is so very near and dear to my heart,” said Tech. Sgt. Shelly Conley, the fundraiser coordinator. “To know that all of us--to include our office, members around base, and the community can come together and help those that need a little extra during tough times is so heartwarming and amazing—it brings a smile to my heart!”
In order to help make this event successful, Conley used some office psychology. “We picked two team captains, Capt. Thomas Eichelkraut and Senior Master Sgt. Casey Grimes, who are very competitive with each other,” she said.
She said this worked well as they have eclipsed last year’s number of 21,672-pounds of food by more than double.
Among the contributors the 173rd Fighter Wing Senior Enlisted Council donated $200, which translates to 1,800-pounds of food for needy basin residents.
This year they also incorporated a silent auction and a raffle.
Conley and all of the comptroller flight Airmen presented the funds to the food bank director, Niki Sampson, Jan. 10, 2019.
“We can’t thank them enough!” said Sampson. “People walk through our door who have just had something tragic happen in their lives and we can help them; we are able to do that because of what Shelly and people like her are doing. Big hugs to all of the 173rd Fighter Wing for your help!”
During the winter months Sampson said much of their need is for senior citizens who are on a fixed income. They see increased costs for heat and may have little left for groceries. The food bank steps in and provides them food to get them through a difficult time and she wants those who helped out by donating to know what their donations and hard work go toward.