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Home > UNS > 150206-01



96th Civil Affairs Soldiers deliver clothing to homeless

by Jerry Green
Public Affairs Officer,  95th Civil Affairs Brigade (Airborne)

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (USASOC News Service, Feb. 6, 2015) - Soldiers from the 96th Civil Affairs Battalion (Airborne), Fort Bragg, N.C.,  collected almost 300 pounds of winter clothing and delivered the goods to the Salvation Army center in Fayetteville, N.C.,  Jan. 30, 2015.

“I was watching TV one night and saw a story about the homeless people in Fayetteville. It was a very cold night, and I thought  about collecting unused clothing from the Soldiers in the battalion would be a great way to help those in need,” said  Staff Sgt. Lindsey Butler, a civil affairs Soldier assigned to the 96th CAB (A) who organized the collection process.  “When we deploy, this is what civil affairs Soldiers do. We help the people in other countries, so I thought why not help those who are needy right here in our own community.”

More than 75 battalion Soldiers started the collection process. Once all the clothing was collected, items were sorted according to size. After three weeks of collecting, the hallways at the battalion over flowed with warm jackets, heavy coats and gloves and shoes of all sizes.

“It just feels good,” said Staff Sgt. Inez Wilson, as she carried another box to the waiting transport trailer.  “It is a great feeling to give back to those in need in our community.”

It was after duty hours when the Soldiers hauled the clothes to the shelter, but stayed around to hand out clothing as the homeless people arrived.

“We had to wait for the “white flag” to drop,” said Butler. “That is when the temperature is forecasted to below 32 degrees and the shelter opens for occupancy.  I called the Salvation Army refuge center in Fayetteville and they were able to distribute the clothing we had collected.”

According to a recent survey by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's point-in-time count, the Fayetteville’s number of homeles totals more than 600 with some estimates indicating that number is low.

“The unit was excited to do this,” said Butler, “so now we are looking at others ways to make a difference in the community.”