US Army Corps of Engineers
Mobile District

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USACE Employees bring holiday spirit to local orphanage

USACE Mobile
Published Dec. 21, 2016
Employees from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Mobile District place gifts under a Christmas tree Dec. 15 at Wilmer Hall Children’s Home in Mobile, Ala. as part of an annual holiday gift drive. This is the second year for the gift drive, spearheaded by Jacqueline Wittman from the Engineering Division Water Resources branch. (Photo by Tim Oberle, USACE Mobile Public Affairs)

Employees from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Mobile District place gifts under a Christmas tree Dec. 15 at Wilmer Hall Children’s Home in Mobile, Ala. as part of an annual holiday gift drive. This is the second year for the gift drive, spearheaded by Jacqueline Wittman from the Engineering Division Water Resources branch. (Photo by Tim Oberle, USACE Mobile Public Affairs)

MOBILE, Ala. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Mobile District’s Engineering Division held their second annual holiday gift drive to collect gifts for Wilmer Hall Children’s Home, a local orphanage in the community here. The gift drive began the day after Thanksgiving and ended last week with the delivery of gifts to the home.

The program has been a tremendous success and has helped bring hope for the children and young adults who reside at the orphanage.

“It means more than you can imagine,” said Sally Greene, Wilmer Hall executive director. “It’s a huge help for (USACE Mobile) to do this for us because we don’t have the resources to do it all ourselves.”

The gift drive was put together last year by employees from the Engineering Division Water Resources Branch and has garnered support from the Geotechnical Engineering Section. Employees pick from a list of items that the children need and bring them to work for wrapping and delivery. 

"We decided last year that instead of getting each other gifts…we would put it to better use,” said James Gibson, a civil engineering technician from USACE Mobile. “We didn’t get every gift on their list, but we got pretty close. In fact, some of the stuff we couldn’t find we replaced with gift cards.”

For Gibson, the fact that he has the chance to give back right here in the local community makes it even more special.

“It don’t cost that much…and the way I look at it is when you give to local charities you know the money is going where it needs to go,” he explained. “I think it’s important to give back because there are a lot of kids and families out there who can’t buy their own gifts.”

Greene echoed similar sentiments and added that since the gift drive started last year it has helped to amplify the spirit of Christmas at Wilmer Hall.

“This is really the only time of the year they can ask for something the specifically want,” said Greene. “And it’s real important for them to be able to feel the joy of Christmas just like many of us are fortunate to do.”

For individuals who missed the chance to participate in the gift drive, but still want to give you can drop off gift cards or other gifts at Wilmer Hall at 3811 Old Schell Road.