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HOLI-Day of Giving

Master Sgt. Melissa Shenefiel and Master Sgt. Kenneth Devole unload the donated clothing for the Western New York Veterans Housing Coalition in Buffalo, NY. on Dec. 18, 2013 (New York Air National Guard photo/Senior Master Sgt. Ray Lloyd)

Master Sgt. Melissa Shenefiel and Master Sgt. Kenneth Devole unload the donated clothing for the Western New York Veterans Housing Coalition in Buffalo, NY. on Dec. 18, 2013 (New York Air National Guard photo/Senior Master Sgt. Ray Lloyd)

Master Sgt. Chanda White and Senior Master Sgt. Steven Buja unload the donated clothing for the Western New York Veterans Housing Coalition in Buffalo, NY. on Dec. 18, 2013 (New York Air National Guard photo/Senior Master Sgt. Ray Lloyd)

Master Sgt. Chanda White and Senior Master Sgt. Steven Buja unload the donated clothing for the Western New York Veterans Housing Coalition in Buffalo, NY. on Dec. 18, 2013 (New York Air National Guard photo/Senior Master Sgt. Ray Lloyd)

107th Airlift Wing members deliver to Niagara Falls Community Mission. Master Sgt. Melissa Shenefiel, Master Sgt. Chanda White, Master Sgt. Kenneth Devole, Master Sgt. Vicki Weaver and Senior Master Sgt. Steven Buja on Dec. 18, 2013 (New York Air National Guard photo/Senior Master Sgt. Ray Lloyd)

107th Airlift Wing members deliver to Niagara Falls Community Mission. Master Sgt. Melissa Shenefiel, Master Sgt. Chanda White, Master Sgt. Kenneth Devole, Master Sgt. Vicki Weaver and Senior Master Sgt. Steven Buja on Dec. 18, 2013 (New York Air National Guard photo/Senior Master Sgt. Ray Lloyd)

Niagara Falls, N.Y. -- The 107th Airlift Wing celebrated the holidays and had a day of giving. During the month of December, collection boxes were set up around Niagara Falls Air Base and unit members donated new and used clothing as well as non-perishable food items. A handful of Top 3 Council members volunteered to deliver these items to two local, non-profit organizations.

The clothing items were delivered to the Western New York Veterans Housing Coalition in Buffalo, NY. The veterans housing coalition provides shelter, clothing, basic home needs and services for employment, financial, health and legal matters. "Veterans becoming homeless are a continuing struggle that's growing each year and it's an honor to be part of the 107th and their vision to provide for those who need assistance," said Connie A. Przepasniak, LMHC and Wing Director of Psychological Health. "The housing coalition is very thankful for the Airlift Wing's support."

 The staff welcomed the members and their donations and gave an extra hand in unloading the clothing. "I'm so happy the 107th is helping to support the needs of local veterans," said Celia O'Brien, Chief Operating Officer, Western New York Veterans Housing Coalition. "The Airmen are providing care for the growing needs of our veterans and that is a great feeling for us." The clothing will be a great help as the need grows. Winter has not yet began and the weather in Buffalo has been cold with heavy snowing the last few weeks of fall.

The 107th members then delivered the non-perishable foods items to the Niagara Falls Community Mission. The staff at the mission were pleased to see the airmen arrive in vehicles loaded with food just in time for the holidays. 107th members were just as happy to be getting the job done. "I haven't missed a food drive for the past 20 years," said Senior Master Sgt. Steve Buja, 107th Fabrications Element Supervisor.

"I am happy to give my time and efforts to help my neighbors in need. It's what the holiday season is all about." The Mission will provide food for more than 50 families this season. "Our 'HOLI-Day of giving' was important because we worked with agencies in Niagara and Erie County this year. 44% of Niagara Falls Airlift Wing members reside in Erie County, so it's great to finally be giving back to our local communities where we reside.", said Master Sgt. Chanda White, 107th Knowledge Operations. "It's a great feeling to be able to give back and I feel that those of us that can should and we are setting that example."

The New York Air National Guard is dedicated to give back to their community and will continue to show that dedication for years to come.