KRA Supports Local Virginia USO

For the past 2+ months, KRA has been celebrating 2012 Community Care Day, a company-wide initiative that celebrates the joy of giving and sharing good works with customers and neighbors in the communities the firm serves.  This year, the company launched a Support Our Troops campaign, and KRA programs across the country rose to the occasion…many times with the cooperation and support of community-based partners…by collecting money and personal items for military personnel here and abroad, hosting special events for Veterans, and supporting local military events.  Reports have been published previously on several successful KRA projects, and below is yet another, launched by the KRA/VIEW (Virginia Initiative for Employment not Welfare) Program in Norfolk, Virginia.

KRA/VIEW’s 4th Annual Community Care “Day” ran from December 1 through December 19, 2012, during which time staff served local military families in cooperation with the USO of Hampton Roads and Central Virginia (USO-HRCV).  Alisha Bazemore, KRA Program Manager, reported “For the Support Our Troops initiative, we felt it was important, and appropriate, to support the USO-HRCV, which is totally dedicated to enhancing the quality of life of our Armed Forces’ personnel and their families.  Also, they actively create cooperative relationships between military communities and supportive civilian communities…like the KRA/VIEW Program here in Norfolk.”

According to Tiffany Haynes, KRA Lead Instructor and Corporate Coordinator for the 2012 Community Care Day campaign, “We kicked off our Support the Troops program on December 1, by supporting the USO-HRCV’s Annual Winter Wonderland event, which included games, ‘Bounce Houses’, pictures with Santa’s Workshop, and concession stands.  For the event, which attracted more than 3,000 family members, eight KRA/VIEW staff volunteered in a number of capacities, welcoming families to the Wonderland, directing them to various activities, and staffing the concession kiosks.  It was clear during the event that the families were very grateful for our assistance, and expressed their appreciation with lots of warm smiles and cheerful greetings.” 

Every December, for the past 23 years, the USO-HRCV has teamed with local agencies to assist military families facing particularly difficult times. The practice began with families being referred to the USO-HRCV by service members’ Commands and/or community organizations.  Participants are often single parents, junior enlisted, have children with special needs, or are having trouble coping with the deployment of a family member.

To support this year’s effort, KRA/VIEW partnered with the USO-HRCV by sponsoring a family of five, and fulfilling a “wish list” of items submitted by the family.  Haynes reported, “Our goal of 100 items was met through generous staff donations.  But, one staff member, with a heart to give above and beyond, was Maureen Chappell, KRA Career Agent.  She donated dolls, teddy bears, games, coloring books…just to name a few items!”  Ms. Chappell herself stated, “I was glad to do it.  Christmas is about giving and supporting one another.” 

Haynes concluded, “On December 19, we delivered five jumbo-size Christmas bags and two baskets filled with books and coloring materials to the USO-HRCV office.  They were more than grateful for KRA/VIEW’s donation to our ‘adopted family’, and we were equally grateful for the opportunity to provide some measure of support, considering the ways in which our military and their families support our Country, everyday, with bravery and pride.”