Community Involvement

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Christine M. Byers
  • 92nd Maintenance Squadron commander
After months of preparation and a couple of weeks of stress, the IG team has left and we've survived another inspection. Way to go Team Fairchild! Now what do you do? Well, how about refocusing all of that energy and enthusiasm towards our local community? 

Did you ever notice that every professional military education course you attend has some sort of community involvement effort? Whether it's an Airmen Leadership Class running a clothing drive for a women's shelter or the Air and Space Basic Course collecting money to donate to a local food kitchen, community involvement is an ingrained military trait we can all be proud of. 

By now you may be saying to yourself that there is no way you could possibly go out and donate what precious spare time you have to an organization. Granted, not everyone will be able to become a Girl Scout/Boy Scout Troop Leader, youth group mentor, or pee-wee football coach; if you can, great! For the rest of us, there are numerous other ways to give back to the local community and still be able to put in a full day's work, spend time with the family, and study for that next test. There's a full range of opportunities out there that would allow you to give a couple hours of yourself a week, a month, or even a couple of hours a year. 

The array of things you could do with those precious hours is astounding. Do you like to work with children? There's a youth group or scout troop out there that's just waiting for your call. Do you like to work with the elderly? I bet there's more than one hospice or retirement home in the area that would love it if you came out and called on some of their residents who don't get many visitors anymore. Do you like sports? You could help coach a pee-wee team or see if any of the local school teams could use your support. If you're interested in animals, you could donate your time to a shelter. If you're interested in the environment, you could pick up trash or plant trees with one of the local environmental protection organizations. If you like to work with your hands, you could work with Habitat for Humanity or help out the single-parent down the street from you who's become overwhelmed by minor household repairs. No matter where your interests lie, you can find an organization that will appeal to you. 

Community involvement is a long-standing Air Force tradition. If you're not sure where to start, just ask your co-workers, supervisor, or first sergeant. Odds are very good that they're either already involved with an organization themselves or they know someone who is that would be more than happy to show you the ropes. 

The Spokane community has been a loyal and heartfelt supporter of Team Fairchild for many years. No matter how you chose to give back to the community, you'll find that the personal satisfaction you receive will be well worth the personal time you sacrifice.