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Aviano Airmen share the love

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Brooke Moeder
  • 31st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Valentine’s Day is about showing appreciation, love and friendship for those around you, whether it be family, friends, or even strangers. Four Airmen and civilians from the 31st Security Forces Squadron Pass & Registration office shared the love and donated Valentine’s Day gift bags to 15 children in the pediatric oncology ward of the Pordenone hospital, Feb. 14, 2022.

Pediatric oncology is the research and treatment of cancers in children and young adults. Due to COVID-19, the donations were given to the children in the lobby area. Two members hand-delivered the donations to the pediatric ward patients that can’t leave due to medical reasons.

“We're dropping off the gift bags as a group to all the children to show our appreciation,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Hannah Hannas, 31st SFS Pass & Reg assistant noncommissioned officer in charge. “Each gift bag has items such as stuffed animals, chocolates, toys, hand-written cards, and more.”

The gift bags were delivered to children ages 9 months to 15 years old and each gift bag was tailored to the age of the child. To raise money for the donations, each section and flight donated money for the cause. The team’s goal was $200, but ended up raising more than $600.

From the very beginning, members at the hospital were excited for this event.

“I have to say that I mean, from the first call I made to the chief of the ward, they were enthusiastic about everything,” said Gianluca Valeri, 31st SFS Allied Force Italy licensing assistant. “They were so happy that we were going to have this event. I think that it’s not just for the children, but also for the hospital itself. It gives the hospital a happy memory and they were really happy from the beginning.”

The U.S. Air Force members were able to give back to the community and make a difference in a child’s life, whether it be small or large.  

“This is basically giving back and showing love to them,” Senior Airman Nelson Roman, 31st SFS Pass & Reg clerk. “If we can put a little smile on their face with little jokes on a card, it can make their day a little better. They see that other people care about them.”

These members came together to show they care for those in need, no matter who it may be.

“At the end of the day, we’re all people,” said Hannas. “Whether we're Italian or American, we're all people and we’re just trying to help. Events like this show that we can come together.”