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Jul 13, 2020 8:00:00 AM

From Operation Kid Comfort family to volunteer to employee

July 13, 2020 - Below is a story from Carrie Benick, Community Relations Manager, on how she became involved with both Operation Kid Comfort and the Armed Services YMCA Fort Bragg

"In 2005, my family was experiencing our first deployment with our two children.  Our son was seven and our daughter was two years old.  We lived on Fort Bragg and I had heard about the Operation Kid Comfort Program that provides children with a deployed parent a photo quilt or pillowcase to help comfort children and keep their parent close even when they are far away.  
 
When I reached out to the Armed Services YMCA I learned that they would also teach me how to quilt so I could make they quilt and pillowcase myself if I wanted to.  I thought this was an excellent opportunity for me to learn a new skill for free.  I also loved the idea that by making them myself added even more to their quilt story.  I enjoyed making them so much that I stayed on as a volunteer quilter for others.  
 
That one year deployment turned into a 15 month deployment followed by a 3 month TDY so my children FB-GoFundMe-ThenandNowrelied on those comfort items more than anything else during their dad's absence.  Our children are now 16 and 21 and we still have these treasured items! 
 
I am now blessed to be the Community Relations Manager at the Armed Services YMCA Fort Bragg and get to continue working with the Operation Kid Comfort program.  We love the program so much that the kids grandmother, my mother, is now a volunteer quilter as well!  
 
Thank you Armed Services YMCA for all you do to support military families in our community!"