Since 2008, Holloman’s 49th Force Support Squadron has hosted the Big Give as a way for members of Team Holloman to give back to the local community.
During Big Give events, participants form teams and select a project, or projects, to undertake of which they believe will be beneficial to the community.
“We did 7,200 community service hours in a matter of 25 days,” said Amanda Gallagher, 49th FSS marketing director. “We also saved the community $272,000 in repairs, which is more than the previous four years combined. Those numbers are just absolutely astonishing.”
Though still a competition, the program is primarily about giving big.
“Typically, the metamorphoses of Big Give is that teams may start out with the program as a community service project or to earn bullets for their EPR (Enlisted Performance Report) or prize money,” said Gallagher. “We then see people change halfway through the program to where it’s not just about what they get out of it, rather than the joy they have from giving.”
For participants of Big Give, it was a chance for them to show that they’re not just here because the Air Force sent them, but that they care about their surrounding community.
“It’s important for people in the surrounding community to see that we as Airmen care about them,” said Airman 1st Class Robert Kniveton, 49th Civil Engineer Squadron operations manager and Team Engineers leader. “Just because I’m wearing the uniform doesn’t mean that I can’t still go downtown and help out.”
Giving back and helping others, rather than competing for a prize, really seemed to be the primary focus of this year’s Big Give.
“This year, everyone started out with the intent to give and were excited about giving,” said Gallagher. “Rather than competing as 15 separate teams, they seemed to play as one. There were teams who sent members to help other teams complete projects and one team who went out in an unofficial lunch wagon to feed all of the other teams. It was really amazing.”
Perhaps it just may have been the spirit of giving that caused Big Give to be such a major success once again.
This year’s Big Give winners are as follows: Small People’s Choice ($500): One Hug; Large People’s Choice ($1,000): Pirates Providing; Small Overall ($2,500): A Team; and Large Overall ($7,500): Mudslingers.
For more information on Holloman’s Big Give, contact the 49th Force Support Squadron Marketing Office at 575-2273, or visit their Facebook page, Holloman AFB Force Support.