The NAVAIR First Class Petty Officer Association’s (FCPOA) $500 donation to Green Holly Elementary May 3 brought the school one step closer to reaching its fundraising goal of $5,000 to replace five old drinking fountains with new bottle-filling stations.
“The purpose of our association is not only to foster improved morale, but to provide an outlet for our members to become active in their local community through volunteer efforts,” explained Yeoman 1st Class Christopher Lassiter, the NAVAIR FCPOA vice president. “We want to show the community we’re here to support them.”
The school, which had conducted a number of special events to raise the necessary funds, found itself $1,000 short of its final goal, so the NAVAIR FCPOA decided to step up and cut that amount in half.
“Three of us [in the NAVAIR FCPOA] have children at the school, so we knew about their efforts,” Lassiter said. “We decided this would be a worthwhile project that would help the kids and have an impact in the community.”
Key benefits of water bottle filling stations include their ability to provide chilled filtered water and reduce plastic waste in the local community. Filling stations also track the number of plastic bottles saved, thus showing students how their own efforts can have a positive impact on the environment.
The check was presented by the NAVAIR FCPOA to school administrators in front of the student body during an assembly.
“I was ecstatic when I learned that the FCPOA was willing to make such a contribution to our water bottle filler project,” said Wauchilue Adams, Green Holly principal. “By installing the water bottle fillers we can protect our environment and facilitate one of the healthiest habits for our staff and students, drinking lots of water. This will be a gift that keeps on giving for years to come. It is a true investment in our future.”
The NAVAIR FCPOA is made up of about 20 Sailors from the NAVAIR, NAWCAD, COMFRC and PMA communities. Primary fundraisers throughout the year include donut sales and spaghetti dinners held in conjunction with VFW Post 2632. Each year, about 10,000 hours are donated by NAVAIR FCPOA volunteers helping at local events, the Special Olympics, and the Charlotte Hall Veterans Home.
“We just want to make people aware of our mission,” Lassiter noted. “What we do, how we help the community, and how they help us. It’s one team, one fight.”
Since the FCPOA donation, Adams noted that the school has now surpassed it’s $5,000 goal and will use the balance to purchase replacement filters for the drinking stations.