Hill contracting gives warm gift to Afghan evacuees

  • Published
  • By Donovan Potter, 75th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah – The contracting directorate at Hill Air Force base conducted a warm, winter-clothing drive recently to gather donations for Afghanistan evacuees arriving in Utah.

Kaitlin Johnson, an Ogden Air Logistics Center Contracting section chief, contacted International Rescue in Salt Lake City and found out they were in need of warm, winter clothing to assist Afghan evacuees.

With the help of the contracting directorate employees at Hill, Johnson was able to collect 171 winter coats and jackets along with numerous warm hats, gloves, scarves, socks and boots.

“Seeing people on the news, coming over here with maybe one bag or just the clothes on their back, I just wanted to help them,” Johnson said. “That’s all I wanted to do and I knew others would want to help, too.”

While participating in Copper Cap, an Air Force program designed to develop interns from entry level contracting positions into management jobs, Johnson took a six-month civilian deployment to Afghanistan in 2013.

Johnson said knowing how kind the Afghan people are and seeing for herself how much they helped our military is another reason that motivated her to organize the drive.

“That’s when I fell in love with the Afghan people,” she said. “And the cool thing about contracting is we’ve had a lot of military and civilians go to Afghanistan, so I knew others were touched and wanted to donate.”

International Rescue, an authorized member of the Combined Federal Campaign, is an organization that strives to provide clean water, shelter, health care, education and empowerment support to refugees and displaced people, was surprised at the amount of warm clothing that was donated.

“She came out with one, tiny bin and we showed up with a whole shuttle bus full of warm clothing,” Johnson said. “They were super happy.”

Hill contracting is currently collecting personal hygiene items to make up kits for the refugees and invites anyone with base access to donate.

Full-sized items for the kits can include bar soap, body lotion, men and women’s deodorant, razors, shave cream, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, moisturizing conditioner and feminine pads.

Donors can email kaitlin.johnson.2@us.af.mil to arrange a drop-off or pick-up.

“We’re lucky to live in Utah,” Johnson said. “We have so many great people who want to volunteer.”