Fort Riley, Kansas



Commissary donates $3,000 worth of gift cards to help Soldiers in need

By Suet Lee-Growney | 1ST INF. DIV. POST | December 15, 2017

     Fort Riley Chaplain Services, an orga­nization within Religious Support Services, was presented with 43 Defense Commissary Agency gift cards worth $50 each from the Commissary Dec. 7.

     This is the first portion of $3,000 in gift cards donated to the organization. The gift cards will be distrib­uted to Soldiers and families in need this holiday season.

      According to William Rasco, Fort Riley Commissary store director, the money used to pur­chase the gift cards came from accrual money from pro­motions they over the past year from the sale of Nabisco products.

     “It’s a means of Nabisco, our business partner, to give back to the community,” Ras­co said. “We are going to give $2,150 of the $3,000 today. We got another $850 to come at a later day that will be given as soon as we get them. It’s going to be a total of $3,000.”

     Rasco said it was ultimately the Commis­sary’s decision to let Chaplain Services deter­mine which Soldiers best qualify to receive these gift cards.

     “We are kind of the middle man on this deal,” he said. “(Chaplain Services) have a really sound system. They would know if the individual is struggling for whatever reason. We trust these guys. You couldn’t trust anybody any better to do a program of this nature.”

     Chaplain Services will put the gift cards toward Operation Helping Hands, an an­nual event put on by the Religious Support Office that distributes Commissary vouch­ers during the holiday season.

     The $3,000 will help fund the $5,850 needed for the program, said Sgt. 1st Class Betty Brime, senior religious affairs non­commissioned of­ficer, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Ri­ley.

     Operation Helping Hands initially started be­fore Thanksgiving to help families in need prepare for a holiday meal, but Chap. (Maj.) Mi­chael Frailey, in­stallation chaplain resource manager, Fort Riley garrison, said there is still a need for financial help.

     “We still have a list of Soldiers,” Frai­ley said. “We had about 316 applications and we only gave out (gift cards to) 234 (applicants). So we will take that list and continue on giving.”

      Religious staff members said the pro­gram benefits Soldiers and families in Fort Riley because it makes them feel cared for and supported.

      “It’s support for them,” Brime said. “That’s less stress they have to worry about during the holidays providing meals for their families.”