We are very excited to share a new community-sponsored program with you – Ellsworth Connections: Home Away From Home Holiday Meal Program.
The Holiday Meal Program is designed to connect the Black Hills community with Airmen and their families to build relationships and provide support during the holiday season.
Starting now, interested Airmen and host families can apply online for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s meals through BlackHillswire.com or complete a hard copy (see links below). This program is operated by our community partners and is open to all ranks, married and single.
Airmen can list preferences for host families, including dietary restrictions or pet concerns. Matches will be made once the application window closes (for Thanksgiving it is 6 Nov and for Christmas and New Year’s it is 4 Dec), and both hosts and Airmen will be notified, as well as the Airmen’s leadership. Notification will include contact information and tips for a successful meal, with host families responsible for initiating communication to make arrangements.
Ellsworth Connection expects the Holiday Meal Program will become an annual event, and will use feedback from this year’s program to improve the process for future events. Local families and Airmen will also have the opportunity to continue their relationship within the Ellsworth Connection: A Home Away From Home Program should they choose to do so.
This program does require coordination from the member’s unit just to ensure we make the best matches possible and to provide the host families a good contact if they have questions or concerns. On line applications will be sent to the respective units for coordination. Hard copies can be dropped off with the A&FRC or with Ms. Loretta Vega, 28 MSG/DD.
As with all things we do these days, we will continue to monitor COVID status and may need to adjust as we get closer to the holidays. Our option would be to see if the families could provide a meal to pick up if restrictions prevent an in-person gathering. We’ll let all participants know if we have to make this change.
Please get the word and applications out to anyone you think may be interested in participating. We really hope this will be a great experience for all – the community already has sign ups of host families.