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Madison Holiday Cheer Brigade seeks support

The City of Madison and local National Guard and Army Reserve units have been working together since 2005 to help make a difference at Christmas for the families of area Guard and Reserve soldiers who are facing financial obstacles.

Thanks to contributors from the Madison community, the Holiday Cheer Brigade has been able to provide money and gifts to Tennessee Valley military families.  This year, they are hoping to do the same for more families.

Contributions can be made to a particular family or families, or can be undesignated. A team of Holiday Cheer Brigade volunteers will then wrap the presents before they are issued for delivery.

Financial contributions/monetary gifts will be accepted in the City Clerk’s Office at Madison City Hall, 100 Hughes Road; 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. through Tuesday, Dec.4.

Any donations made in the form of a check should be made payable to the City of Madison with the memo as: Madison Cheer Brigade.

Non-monetary gifts (gift cards, toys, clothing, food, etc.) can be taken to Dublin Park Recreation Center, located at 8324 Old Madison Pike in Madison, and will be accepted through 5 pm Thursday, Dec. 6.

If you would like to volunteer to help wrap the gifts please come to Dublin on Friday, Dec. 7 at 8:30 a.m.; all volunteers are welcome. Volunteers are asked to bring scissors, tape, boxes, wrapping paper, etc .

To assist with wrapping, please contact Gayle Milam at gayle.milam@madisonal.gov or (256)772-2557.

Delivery of all gifts to the soldiers and their families will be Friday, Dec. 7.

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 and dignity. Below is the list of the 2012 Madison Cheer Brigade families and a short description of their particular situations as received from the National Guard and Army Reserve.

Here is a list of families the Cheer Brigade plans to help this year:

(Soldier Alpha) is the single mother of a six year old son. She has been unable to secure steady employment and would appreciate help providing for her son’s Christmas. The six-year-old’s favorite color is blue and he wears size 7/8 pants, 7/8 shirt and a child’s size 13 or 1 shoe. This family’s specific need is for clothing, shoes, toys, food and money.

(Soldier Bravo) is the single mother of a four year old son. The soldier has been unable to find steady employment and would appreciate help providing for her son’s Christmas. The four-year-old wears 5T pants and shirts and a child’s size 12 shoe; his favorite color is blue. This family’s specific need is for clothing and food.

(Soldier Charlie) is the single mother of a one year old son. This soldier has been in the military for roughly four years and was recently put on bed rest for seven months. Receiving no disability, her income depends upon her attendance at Battle Assembly where she receives $250.00, of which she struggles to pay rent each month. She is about to be put back on bed rest for at least five months following an upcoming surgery. Her first request for assistance is for help in providing a Christmas tree for her son’s first Christmas. In addition, clothing for the child would be greatly appreciated; he wears 12-18 month clothing and a size 5 toddler shoe.

(Soldier Delta) is the single mother of a ten year old daughter. This soldier has been in the Army for 19 years but is having trouble making ends meet due to employment that does not pay enough to take care of her daughter and herself. She would appreciate any help providing Christmas for her daughter. The child’s favorite colors are pink and purple and she desperately needs a winter coat and under garments. She wears size 12 clothing and her shoe size is a five. The daughter has seen and loves American Girl dolls.

(Soldier Echo) is a soldier with a wife and ten year old son. The soldier’s wife, of eight years, is a heart patient who has a pacemaker/defibrillator and is an insulin dependent diabetic. The soldier has a 10-year-old son who is currently living in a foster home in Utah after his biological mother gave him to the Utah Foster Care System in May of 2008. The soldier and his wife continue to work with the Utah court system to gain full custody of the child. The costs of medications, doctor’s appointments and legal fees to gain custody of his son have depleted their savings. This family is “getting by for now” but would appreciate your assistance to provide Christmas gifts for their child (which will be sent directly to the Foster family in Utah). Their son wears size 10 pants (with elastic on the sides and loop button closures) and size 10-12 shirts. He wears a Boys size 2 shoe and will celebrate his 11th birthday on New Year’s Day! This soldier asks specifically for food for him and his wife and Christmas gifts for their son.