The units of the 2nd Engineer Battalion marched with a different purpose, Dec. 10. Over 500 Soldiers marched with rucksacks full of toys from their headquarters to Army Community Services. The Soldiers dropped off the over 2,000 toys that were collected from the Soldiers themselves and the surrounding community, including Holloman Air Force Base.
The toys will benefit the over 200 children who signed up for the Angel Tree, a program meant to help families who have expressed a need during the holiday season. The names of the children are placed on angel ornaments with their wish list and placed on trees throughout the WSMR community. Angel Tree coordinator, Damaris Powe, said the angels have all been accounted for by community members and the toys will help possibly give a child a second item on their list. “We’re so appreciative and so humbled,” Powe said.
Along with the donations collected by the 2nd Engineer Battalion, Powe said, the program also received monetary donations from several surrounding agencies. Powe said she was a little worried at first that several children would not get toys this year since volunteers were not picking up the ornaments.
“All of a sudden the community stepped up,” Powe said. “I know it’s been a hard year for people and I feel so humbled and have such gratitude.”
The toys that ACS has left over will then be collected by the Soldiers and distributed to a Women’s Shelter in Las Cruces. 2nd Engineer Battalion Command Sgt. Maj. Devardy Arnold said the toy drive is something that should be done every year and will continue to happen as long as he and 2nd Engineer Commander, Lt. Col. James Koeppen are around.