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The original item was published from 11/17/2011 7:52:24 AM to 11/17/2011 8:47:45 AM.

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Posted on: November 17, 2011

[ARCHIVED] Madison Cheer Brigade Marches into the Holiday Season

The City of Madison in conjunction with the local National Guard and Army Reserve is asking for your support to make this holiday season a happy one for soldiers and their families.

• Donations being accepted Now through Wednesday, December 14th
o Financial contributions/monetary gifts will be collected at the Madison City Hall located at 100 Hughes Road.
? Any donations made in the form of checks should be made payable to the City of Madison with the memo as: Madison Cheer Brigade.
o Non-monetary gifts can be taken to Dublin Park Recreation Center located at 8324 Old Madison Pike in Madison.
? Dublin’s operational hours are: Monday – Friday 6am – 9pm, Saturday 8am-8pm and Sunday 10am-6pm.
• Wrapping the gifts at Dublin Friday, December 14th beginning at 8:30am
o Residents may email Gayle Milam at gayle.milam@madisonal.gov or (256)772-9300 for opportunity to volunteer to wrap
o Volunteers are asked to bring scissors , tape etc to assist in wrapping
• Delivery of Gifts to the Soldiers and their Families - Friday, December 15th

Appropriate gifts, gift cards, and cash are all appreciated. Contributions can be made to a particular family or families, or can be undesignated. Undesignated gifts will be distributed appropriately. The city aggregates the money for each family and issues a city check to them. We designate the families Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta and Echo to preserve their anonymity.

Below is a list of the designated families and a short description of their particular situations as received from the National Guard and Army Reserve

(Soldier Foxtrot) is an unemployed soldier in the Army Reserve. He is receiving unemployment benefits but it is not enough to cover all his bills. He is making every effort to find a job but he is having no luck. He has no money to buy Christmas gifts for his children, 7 year old son, Christopher and 16 year old, daughter, Carlynn. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

(Soldier Echo) is a 27 year old male soldier with three boys and one child on the way. He recently lost his job and his pregnant girlfriend has been working for approximately 1 month. The job that he was working was only paying minimum wage. They are really having a hard time paying their rent and bills. The ages and the names of his boys are Jalil, 4 years old (just recently broke his elbow); Tyrique who is 9 years old and Jaevon , 10 years old.

(Soldier Delta) is a Specialist in the United States Army Reserve. She is a single mother of a one year old girl. She is a full time student at Virginia College. She has been out of work since she had her daughter. She was recently told that she may be responsible for paying for college tuition which is $13,000 a year. She was also informed that she may lose her residence because she does not have a monthly income coming in. She has to go to school at night because she cannot afford to put her daughter in daycare during the day.
She will be deploying to Afghanistan soon. She gets by day-to-day through the help of God and her strong faith in Him. There are days when she does not know where her daughter’s next meal or next box of pampers are going to come from but she prays to Him for help. There are even days that she will go without so that her daughter has something to eat or pampers.
She does not know if she will lose her home but she still keeps her faith and she pays her rent with whatever little money she can spare. She is trying very hard to better herself for her daughter's sake. But there are days that she feels as though it’s too much to bear alone.
This year will be her daughter's first Christmas and she’s afraid that she will not be able to give her a decent first Christmas. Her daughter is her world and her inspiration to stay on the right path. It is because of her faith that she feels that God will provide.

(Soldier Charlie) is a single mother of a 5 year old son. He has just started kindergarten and is doing very well and loves school. She is a current college graduate and is looking for work. She is worried that she will not be able to provide a nice Christmas for her son, so she is asking for assistance. The child’s father is not around and doesn’t provide any assistance for them. Her son’s name is Elijah. Shoe size: 10. Clothing size: 5T to 6T. Favorite color is red.

(Soldier Bravo) is a single mother who is current going to school. She has been trying to find work but has been unsuccessful. She is not receiving any child support from her daughter’s father. She is struggling to make ends meet but would appreciate any help that the community could provide. Her daughter is 10 years old and first name is India. Shoe size: 3 ½. Clothing size: 10-12. Favorite colors: Pink and purple.

(Soldier Alpha) his wife, Lori, is a heart patient. She has a pacemaker / defibrillator unit in her chest. Lori is also an insulin dependent diabetic. They have been married for 7 years. He has a son 10-year-old, Marc, who is currently living in a foster home in Utah. They have been working with the Utah court system to gain full custody of Marc. Marc's biological mother gave him to the Utah Foster Care System in May of 2008. The costs of Lori’s medications, her Doctor’s appointments and the legal fees to gain custody of his son has depleted their savings. Two weeks ago he was laid off from his job. It was not a notification of job termination but his employer said that it was due to the poor economy. Also, he is pending a medical board due to a back injury that occurred at Fort Knox during (A/T) annual training. Any support from the community for this family would be most appreciated.

Let’s show these military families in our community that we care and support them! Your community spirit of giving will make their 2011 Christmas one to remember as a special Christmas filled with joy, hope and love!

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