Military Foundation in Need of Community Help Following Base Fire

bo102916cBOURNE – A community effort is underway to help the Cape Cod Military Support Foundation after a fire October 28 at Joint Base Cape Cod destroyed its office and storage facility.

The foundation, which helps the families of personnel at the base, lost thousands of toys and supplies needed for its annual Operation Santa Christmas party.

Foundation Founder and President Don Cox said he had already gathered about 70 percent of the gifts and supplies needed for the December 11 party, which provides gifts for about 800 children.

Cox said the non-profit has already received an outpouring of support from local businesses and organizations, like Toys For Tots, to replenish most of the gifts and supplies needed for the holiday party, but help is still needed.

“We need like an office storage unit that we can have to be able to put our stuff into,” Cox said. “We need office furniture, office supplies, an office computer system, that type of stuff to be able to log these gifts in so that we know what we’ve got and where we are at.”

Other supplies needed are tables, chairs, trash barrels and coolers.

Cox said they need to replace all the supplies they have built up over time.

The foundation also needs to replenish the paper goods for the Christmas party.

“We’ve got 800 kids and probably 400 parents that we are going to feed pizza and ice cream to,” Cox said.

The Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod is helping in the effort and is collecting gifts and monetary donations for the foundation at all of its nine branches.

The foundation is accepting new, unwrapped toys for children ages 3 to 12 and gift cards to local stores for teenagers.

The foundation shared the office and storage space, which was made up of attached mobile trailers, with a government contractor.

“They think it was an electrical fire that started outside of our space and it just spread throughout the building,” Cox said. “Those storage trailers and offices that we had are all metal so once a fire starts it’s like an oven and everything literally melted.”

Cox described seeing metal storage racks, which were full of gifts, twisted, bent and folded in half.

Along with the Christmas party, the foundation’s Children’s Fund provides family events including an Easter Egg Hunt, Operation Backpack, which provides military children with school supplies, and the Operation Pumpkin Halloween party.

The foundation also provides food cards, gas cards, financial support, medical support, bereavement and holiday support through the Chaplain’s Fund.

Other functions of the foundation include the Scholarship and Education Fund, Military Awards Dinner and maintaining the Memorial Park on the base.

The Operation Santa party is December 11 in the base gymnasium.

By BRIAN MERCHANT, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

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