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News | Dec. 21, 2021

U.S. Air Force volunteer gives shoes to children in Honduras

By Maria Pinel Joint Task Force-Bravo Public Affairs

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Britney Donnelly, a weather forecaster with the 612th Air Base Squadron, Joint task Force-Bravo is a shining star of selfless service for her unit at Soto Cano Air Base.

As a true example of integrity and excellence, Donnelly, who is part of the 25th Operational Weather Squadron, based out of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, has hit the ground running for her six-month deployment in Honduras when it comes to community outreach.

“As soon as I got here, I was thinking of something that I could do to help, especially during the season of giving – it’s my favorite time!” said Donnelly.

Service members across Soto Cano frequently conduct volunteer activities by supporting different orphanages, or homes for underprivileged children in Comayagua and La Paz to maintain resiliency and give back to the community.

“Airman Donnelly came to me as soon as she found out that I was the orphanage point of contact [for our unit]. She’s a rockstar, she’s been trying to get a bunch of donations and being as involved and helpful as she can,” said Tech. Sgt Angela Lawrence, deputy airfield manager with the 612th. “She’s really enthusiastic about getting these things together for our squadron and she really wants to have an impact.”

Donnelly began doing some research to figure out how she could best support the local orphanage sponsored by her unit.

“I came across Soles for Souls, they do shoe drives, and I got in contact with their [Vice President of Outreach] and they ended up having a distributing center here. Originally, I was hoping to get at least 75 pairs for the orphanage that the 612th volunteers with,” said Donnelly.

Soles for Souls collects donated shoes and clothing and provides them to organizations to distribute to people in need all over the world. By partnering with them, not only did she reach her goal, but she far surpassed it by collecting 1,368 pairs of shoes of different sizes through the organization.  

“When I got in contact with them, she said she was able to get me five boxes of each size. I was under the assumption that I would get five pairs of each size, not each box having 36 pairs each. It was a very great surprise!” said Donnelly.

With so many shoes to go around, Donnelly reached out to other units on base so they can also distribute them to the orphanages they volunteer with, impacting children all over Comayagua and La Paz.

Representatives from JTF-Bravo, Army Forces Battalion, 1-228 Aviation Regiment and Army Support Activity all joined this great mission and provided shoes to children from different orphanages along with the 612th over this past weekend. Additionally, more will be donated during the upcoming Christmas Chapel Hike.  

“I would love to see the people that receive them and the impact that this has,” said Donnelly. “This is one big shipment so hopefully this will last us a little bit, and I would love for the unit to continue this project and keep it going.”

For almost 40 years, JTF-Bravo and Soto Cano Air Base volunteers have conducted various outreach engagements to maintain resiliency among service members and give back to the community that has welcomed the Task Force and the U.S. military for decades.

Donnelly has also engaged in community outreach programs at her home unit and works with animal shelters and the Humane Society of Southern Arizona, an example to her squadron.