PEARL HARBOR - Members of the U.S. Pacific Fleet Junior Enlisted Association (JEA) took time out of their busy schedule Aug. 10, 2010 to brighten the smiles of students at Kalihi Elementary School in Honolulu, when they delivered several boxes of brand new school supplies.
The supplies were gathered over several weeks from various COMPACFLT service members and their families. Items included new backpacks, paper, notebooks, crayons, pens, pencils and glue sticks.
“The idea of holding a donation drive for school supplies was originally brought to the JEA by one of our members,” said Yeoman 2nd Class John Singleton, JEA president and administration assistant for COMPACFLT operations directorate. “Everyone in the association was so enthusiastic about the idea, that everyone immediately started creating different drop boxes to be placed around the command.”
Kalihi Principal David W. H. Pila was grateful for the generous gifts and support from the junior Sailors.
“We are so thankful for all the support that the Navy has given us,” Pila said. “Some of the students are unable to have the proper school supplies to help them get through the year, but thanks to the Navy and their generosity those students now have the motivation and ability to do their best.”
After the supplies were handed out, JEA members spent time visiting different classrooms and spoke with students about the school year and shared their Navy experiences.
“Talking with the kids in their classrooms is something I won’t forget,” said Yeoman Seaman Andrew Jones, member of COMPACFLT staff administration. “It was great to get to talk to the students and show them there are more experiences available to them outside of their community.”
In a show of support to the JEA, Pacific Fleet Master Chief John Minyard accompanied the group for their special delivery to Kalihi.
“The effort these young Sailors have done speaks volumes about their character and their willingness to help the local community,” said Minyard. “I applaud the JEA for all that they have done to help out the school. They set the example for all of us to follow.”
The JEA plans to continue its relationship with the students and faculty of Kalihi by hosting an annual donation drive.
“This is such a wonderful experience,” said Yeoman 2nd Class Tiffany Jones, a member of COMPACFLT staff administration. “It feels good inside to be able to help out students from the local community, and to give back to those in need.”