18 December 2011

Service Before Self


Meet the Del Rio family. That's my commander presenting them with a check for $5,700. All of it was through fundraisers and donations from my squadron. There are seven people not present in this picture, all of them kids with the oldest being seventeen and the youngest just one year old. So why did we raise this money for them?

Heidi, my commander's wife, heard of Mr. Del Rio's story and was so incredibly moved that she made it a mission to "adopt" this family for the holiday season. She is one of the most generous and kind people I've ever met in my life, so it wasn't really a surprise to me that she wanted to do this. Heidi sent out an email a couple months ago explaining what happened to Rafael Del Rio's sister. After the horrific tragedy, Mr. Del Rio stepped up and without question or second thoughts, took in his sister's four children to raise them as his own.

Over the past couple months, the spouses' club has been selling home made key chains and soliciting businesses for gift cards for the Del Rio family. During our squadron's annual Thanksgiving meal, the spouses' club held a silent auction which brought in $2,500!

The one thing that the family wanted for Christmas was to be able to take the whole family to Disneyland. This would be a way to celebrate a new beginning and to bring the family together. With the money that was raised, Heidi announced that the Del Rio family would be going to Disneyland for three days and four nights, staying on the Disneyland property at one of their three hotels, and have spending cash and the gift cards!

It was amazing listening to my commander talk about how he was impressed with what we were all able to do. He was very proud of my squadron for coming together and doing this for the Del Rio family. Stories like this just touch your heart, especially during the holidays.

I wish the Del Rio family the best for the future!