JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas –
In the face of large humanitarian needs, it can be difficult to understand how small actions can make a difference. A group of senior NCOs and Airmen here learned firsthand how their small actions made an impact in the lives of others.
The 59th Medical Wing's Top III organization collected more than 1,000 books and school supplies and donated them to the Liberia Teach Training Program.
The books and supplies are used to develop reading programs in schools in Harper City, Liberia, said Top III President Master Sgt. Christopher Gage 59th Medical Wing Logistic Readiness Squadron, section chief of quality insurance, clinical engineering flight.
The books and school supplies collected by the Top III helped establish the community's first children's library and are used by LTTP teachers to educate their students, continued Gage.
The 59th MDW leadership was approached by Annette Jacobson, an American citizen on an assignment to teach at a local university in Liberia, who was requesting aid for the impoverished students of Harper City, Liberia.
The Top III saw this is as a great opportunity to aid in the literacy efforts of the community, said Gage. Aiding and supporting communities is an important part of the Top III's mission.
"The 59th MDW Top III council is a private organization of senior NCOs (belonging to) the Air Force's largest medical unit," said Gage. "The primary goal of the Top III is to promote the Airmen through professional development and community outreach programs and show recognition of things that they do day in and day out."
The organization led a wing and base-wide book drive that took place August 2013. The books and supplies were then shipped to the community around November 2013 and used by the LTTP.
The mission of the LTTP is to better prepare and equip teachers with capacity-building activities to improve early-grade reading and mathematics, said LTTP team leaders. One of the programs developed by the LTTP team helps local elementary teachers incorporate storybook readings into their daily lesson plan. The students enjoy the reading time and are exposed to important reading skills.
"These projects are important because they help tell the Air Force story and promote good will," said Gage. "It is also very satisfying for our members to know that these books were used to help set up a school system in another country. The Top III continues to look for these endeavors."
The 59th MDW Top III encourages their members to show leadership by initiating a volunteer opportunity or fundraiser.
"It doesn't take a group of senior NCOs to want to do an initiative like this," said Gage. "I challenge anyone to take the initiative to drive a campaign. I also ask their supervisors to be supportive and encourage humanitarian efforts abroad and here at home."