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The original item was published from 12/10/2010 2:04:00 PM to 12/18/2010 12:00:10 AM.

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Posted on: November 29, 2010

[ARCHIVED] Madison Holiday Cheer Brigade Marches Into Holiday Season

City Leads Support for Soldiers and Their Families This 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. Last year alone, the Holiday Cheer Brigade made an impact by collecting over $12,000 in money and gifts for 12 military families in the Tennessee Valley. Non-monetary gifts can be taken to Dublin Park Recreation Center located at 8324 Old Madison Pike in Madison. Financial contributions and other monetary gifts will be collected at Madison City Hall located at 100 Hughes Road. Donations will be accepted now through December 15th. A team will then wrap and deliver all of the gifts to the families on Friday, December 17th.

Appropriate gifts, gift cards, and cash are all appreciated. Contributions can be made to a particular family or families, or can be undesignated. Any check donations should be made payable to the City of Madison. The City aggregates the money for each family and issues a City check to them. We designate the families Alpha, Bravo, etc to preserve their anonymity. Let’s show these military families our community spirit and make sure they will always remember the 2010 holiday season as one filled with joy and hope for the New Year.

Below is a list of the designated families and a short description of their particular situations.

Soldier Alpha is a motivated and dedicated Soldier. He is a loving husband and proud soon-to-be father of his first child due December 29, 2010. The City of Madison was notified yesterday Soldier Alpha couple suffered the loss of their child which was due in 3 weeks. The family requests donations to assist in the funeral costs. His young wife, age 21, is a full time student working on a nursing degree to better the life of her family. Expecting their first child so early in their brief marriage is a trying situation for this relatively young family. But they seize every opportunity to ask for prayers and advice from others. Soldier A works a full time job, but it pays minimum wage; and he does odd jobs, whenever possible, to make ends meet. He sacrifices greatly being away from home for such an extended portion of the day. But through it all, he looks forward to the birth of his first child and the day when he can provide for his family in a manner that he feels a husband and a father should.

Soldier Bravo is the single mother of 3 year old twin boys. She is currently employed full time, but with the extremely high cost of childcare for two small children, she struggles to provide for her children. Soldier B is a hard working young woman who takes every chance possible to help out others around her. She is responsible and regularly seeks work for the holidays to be able to provide a Christmas for her boys; but faces great adversities in finding extra work outside her normal work hours due to the childcare cost outweighing the pay that she would receive. This Soldier remains positive, however, saying that things could always be worse, at least her boys are healthy and happy - too young to know what struggle is.

Soldier Charlie is a young, devoted husband, father of twin 2 year old boys. With a third child due May 26, 2011, he has faces many obstacles, both personally and professionally. Soldier C recently returned from a six month class away from home. Already barely making ends meet, Soldier C has to prepare for a new child. He has been putting forth all that they have to be able to move his family from the bad area that they currently live in to a better one to ensure their safety while he is away. But sadly, since he has returned, his hours have not been adequate enough to be able to provide what is necessary to make that possible. He is able to cover the bare minimum, but is unable to provide any possibility of Christmas for his family this year. As his wife's due date approaches, he is unsure of what is to come as they add to an already overstressed financial situation.

Soldier Delta is a single mom with a newborn baby boy. Both mom and baby son are at home now doing well. Due to the pregnancy, Solider D was unable to completed her advanced skill identification training and therefore, unable to collect the bonus money from the Army Reserve until the training is completed. She had hoped to use the bonus money to provide for her and her newborn until she is able to return to work. Consequently, she is experiencing a financial shortfall and is having difficulty making ends meet.

Soldier Echo and his wife are mourning the loss of their new born twins shortly after their birth. His wife is slowly recovering, both physically and mentally, from their loss. Soldier E and his wife have been unable to work during their loss and attending to funeral arrangement. They have no income. Funeral arrangements and related costs have depleted their savings and taken a toll on the family budget. The family would like some assistance to make it through their financial crisis and try to provide a nice Christmas for their 13 year old daughter.

Soldier Foxtrot has three kids. He is an active duty Soldier that has experienced hard time for the past 8 months. Recently divorce, he has been recovering financially but feels that he will not be able to provide for his children. His children currently reside in Texas and are scheduled to visit him for Christmas. He would like to make this a memorable experience for his children. He would appreciate any assistance from the community. He has three children, 1 boy age 6, 2 girls ages 13 and 4.

Soldier Golf earns for a single income family with 4 children. The girl’s ages are 8 yrs old, 7 yrs old, and 5 yrs old. The boy’s age is 4 yrs old. They would greatly appreciate any assistance from the community.

Soldier Hotel has 3 kids. Solider H is working a 32-36 hour work week. The wife is a stay at home mom. The family has had to file bankruptcy to save their home from foreclosure. During these hard times they also have taken in a 1 year old from a friend of the family that was unprepared and abusive to the child. They volunteered to take him in for 2 weeks for the friend to clear her thoughts, but time has passed and he is now been living with them for a year. He will be 2 years old on December 3rd, 2010, his biological mom has decided give away all rights. With one income, a 1 year old with anxiety disorder, things can become quite stressful. Being thankful for this opportunity to share their story they would be grateful for any little help. The ages and sizes of his children are Girl: 12 years old size 2 adults, Girl: 10 years old size 8-10, Boy: 2 years old size 2t.

Soldier Indigo has 1 child. Soldier I is currently unemployed and has been unable to find employment after return from mobilization. The child is a 9 year old girl. Her clothing sizes are 9 pants, underwear and shirts, and a shoe size 2 ½.

Soldier Juliet is a single mom who is a full time student at a UAH. Her class schedule this year prevents her from working full time. She hopes to graduate in the spring with a degree in Nursing. Money is very tight and she would like assistance for both her and her 2 year old son.

Soldier Xray is a hardworking and dedicated husband and father of two school aged children, girl 15 and boy 6. Having recently returned from a deployment, he was faced with many obstacles. His mother had become ill, unable to care for herself and needing to be relocated, and his sister who has two school aged children, girl 16 and boy 8, of her own lost her job. With no regard to his financial situation, he stepped up and undertook a tremendous responsibility by moving his mother and accepting his sister's family into his household and caring for them as he does his own wife and kids. At a time when he should be the happiest, returning home after a long deployment, and during the holidays, he is greatly overwhelmed with little to look forward to offering the children.

For more information on any of the families or to volunteer to help wrap presents, please call the Mayor’s Office at (256) 772-5603.

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