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Bundles and Backpacks: Women’s Council delivers first event April 10

Hundreds of toys were available to Reserve Citizen Airmen at the Baby Bundles + Kits for Kids event hosted by the 446th Airlift Wing Women’s Council April 10 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - Hundreds of toys were available to Reserve Citizen Airmen at the Baby Bundles + Kits for Kids event hosted by the 446th Airlift Wing Women’s Council April 10 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. Expecting Reserve moms and dads also received baby diapers filled with items needed to care for a newborn. Women’s Council hosted the event honoring the Month of the Military Child. (Air Force photo by Lt. Col. Carrianne Ekberg)

Reserve Citizen Airmen select toys for their children at the Baby Bundles + Kids for Kit event April 10 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - Reserve Citizen Airmen select toys for their children at the Baby Bundles + Kids for Kit event April 10 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. In addition to the toys provided by 446th Airman and Family Readiness, the 446th Airlift Wing Women’s Council gave away 50 diaper bags filled with items needed to care for newborns to expecting Reserve Citizen Airmen. The Council-hosted event was in honor of the Month of the Military Child. (Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ann Butler)

Bags with items for newborns

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - Fifty diaper bags filled with items needed to care for newborns were handed out to expecting Reserve Citizen Airmen during the Baby Bundles + Kits for Kids event April 10 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. In addition to the bundles, Reserve Citizen Airmen picked up resources for first time parents, toys and backpacks filled with school supplies for their kids. This Women’s Council-hosted event honored the Month of the Military Child. (U.S. Air Force photo by Lt. Col. Carrianne Ekberg)

One hundred backpacks filled with school supplies, provided by 446th Airman and Family Readiness, were given to Reserve Citizen Airmen during a Baby Bundle + Kits for Kids event April 10 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - One hundred backpacks filled with school supplies, provided by 446th Airman and Family Readiness, were given to Reserve Citizen Airmen during a Baby Bundle + Kits for Kids event April 10 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. The 446th Airlift Wing Women’s Council-hosted event also provided resources and a baby bundle to expecting parents. The event was designed to honor the Month of the Military Child. (Air Force photo by Lt. Col. Carrianne Ekberg)

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. --

The 446th Airlift Wing Women’s Council delivered its first event, Baby Bundles and Kits for Kids, for Reserve Citizen Airmen April 10, 2021 here.

Fifty diaper bags filled with items needed to care for newborns were handed out to expecting Reserve Citizen Airmen and those with newborns in an effort to take care of Airmen and their families.

Reserve moms and dads lined up to grab a bundle, provided by the Pierce Military Business Alliance, as well as backpacks and toys provided by 446th Airman and Family Readiness Center. The Council teamed up with A&RC and PMBA to host the event honoring the Month of the Military Child.

Lt Col Carrianne Ekberg, wing executive officer assigned for the airlift wing and co-founder of the Women’s Council, led the event.

“We wanted to be an organization (Women’s Council) that acted. Our goal was to enact change here at the local level through events such as this,” Ekberg said. “We wanted our first event to coincide with the Month of the Military Child and felt having an event where we could give back to the wing and recognize families within the wing was a great way to start.”

“Thus, Baby Bundles and Kits for Kids was born with the help of the Airman and Family Readiness Center and Pierce Military Business Alliance,” she said.

Staff Sgt. Ryan Goforth, a father of a newborn and logistics planner assigned to the 446th Logistics Readiness Flight, picked up a baby bundle at the event.

“I did find it helpful. My wife and I are always grateful for any baby care items, because they can get expensive quickly,” Goforth said. “My daughter also very much enjoys the crinkle book and the blanket.”

Another airman found the resources particularly helpful.

First-time expectant father Master Sgt. David Cassavant, the noncommissioned officer in charge of the Logistics Readiness Flight, said, “I found it very helpful because the pamphlets were educational on things to plan for.”

Resources included financial planning tips for first time parents and what to expect for moms and dads. In addition to the bundles and handouts, 100 backpacks filled with school supplies and hundreds of toys were given to Reserve Citizen Airmen with young kids.

Maj Rachael Deroche, a C-17 pilot assigned to the 313th Airlift Squadron and first-time expectant mother, volunteered at the event as well as picked up a baby bundle.

"I found the Bundles for Babies & Kits for Kids event incredibly helpful," Deroche said. "It was amazing to see the caliber of items that were graciously donated by organizations in order to support and ease the transition of families expecting new little ones and also providing young children with school supplies and crafts."

The event took 25 volunteers, to include Deroche and Ekberg, and several months of planning to occur.

“It took about 25 people to pull the event off from securing the location and donations, to set up, event management and clean up,” Ekberg said. “Normally it can be tough to find volunteers for events like this, but we had an overwhelming amount of support from inside the Women’s Council and across the wing.”

“It was a huge success that we pulled off, only because of the enormous team effort,” she said.

The wing’s Women’s Council launched its inaugural meeting on Nov. 8, 2020. The goal of the council is to provide a community of support and a forum to discuss women’s issues at the 446th AW and across the Air Force as a whole.

April is designated as the Month of the Military Child highlighting the vital role military children play in the armed forces community.