Editor’s Note: This release was edited by Larry Lapka
NEXCOM, AAFES Holiday Layaways ‘Paid In Full’
From Dec. 17-22, 250 military families in 22 Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) locations had their layaways of children’s items “paid in full” by Pay Away the Layaway, Inc., which also did the same thing for 290 families who had layaways at Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) stores.
Pay Away the Layaway is a registered non profit organization whose mission, according to its website at https://payawaythelayaway.org/ “is to inspire hope and help families pay off layaway balances that include gifts for their children.”
NEXCOM • VIRGINIA BEACH
This is the fifth consecutive year that Pay Away the Layaway, Inc. has paid off NEX customers’ layaways. However, this was the organization’s largest donation to Navy families to date, with nearly $65,000 worth of children’s toys, clothing and goods paid in full.
NEXCOM’s worldwide network of stores participated in the program, with each individually creating its own special moment for those deserving families.
Participating NEX locations included NSB New London, Conn.; NB San Diego and Port Hueneme, Calif.; NS Rota, Spain; NAS Sigonella, Sicily; NSA Naples, Italy; FA Yokosuka, FA Sasebo and NAF Atsugi, Japan; NAS Pensacola and NS Mayport, Fla.; NEX Guam; NEX Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; NBK Bangor, NS Bremerton and Whidbey Island, Wash.; NEX Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; and NAS Oceana, JEB Little Creek and NS Norfolk, Va.
As part of this year’s surprise, 42 families at NS Great Lakes, Ill., and NSA Memphis, Tenn., also had their layaways paid in full by Pay Away the Layaway and its featured sponsor, Gordon Hayward and the Hayward Family.
AAFES • DALLAS
The paid-for layaways represented more than $66,000 in holiday gift purchases at AAFES stores for military children.
“This means a lot — it was definitely an unexpected blessing,” said Army Reserve Capt. Quintesha Greene of the 2nd Battalion-290th Regiment, who is assigned to Tinker AFB, Okla., on active orders, and who was one of the lucky winners. “It makes you realize that there are still good people out there who are willing to help others.”
“This year has been difficult for everyone, and military families are no exception,” said Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Kevin Osby, Exchange senior enlisted advisor. “We hope this simple gesture shows these lucky families how much their contributions mean to their country, especially during these challenging and uncertain times.”
“SUPPORTING THE MEN AND WOMEN WHO SERVE US”
“As the grandson of a World War II Navy veteran, I am proud to support the men and women who serve us,” said Lee Karchawer, founder of Pay Away the Layaway. “Pay Away the Layaway is pleased to be able to return kindness in our small way during a tumultuous year for many. We wish the children of our [military] families a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!”
Said television personality and former military member Montel Williams— who hosted a Zoom call announcing the news to some of the winners — “My military service spanned over 22 years in the Marine Corps and United States Navy, so I’m honored to have the opportunity to share a message with our military families … today I’m here to thank your for your service, and thank military service members for their courage, their determination and their sacrifice. I know all too often that [they] sacrifice in silence, and that the holidays are particularly hard for military families on a budget>”
Other supporters of this program include restaurant chain Subway and another non-profit organization, Soldier’s Wish.
Source: NEXCOM, AAFES
Edited by Larry Lapka
These customers of NEX Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, had their layaway balances paid in full by Pay Away the Layaway, Inc. This is the fifth consecutive year that the non-profit organization has paid off NEXCOM customers’ holiday layaways.
Photo: Tinker AFB, Okla., Public Affairs
Military shoppers pick up their layaway purchases, which were paid in full by non-profit Pay Away the Layaway, Inc., at the Tinker AFB, Okla., Exchange on Dec. 17. Pictured are (from left) shoppers Quintesha Greene and Georgene Wade; 72nd Air Base Wing Commander Col. Paul Filcek; shopper Carol Stinchcomb; Tinker AFB Exchange General Manager (GM) Charles Eaves; Tinker AFB Exchange Main Store Manager Maria Berrios Borges; and shoppers Dorothy Lewis and Irene Somoano Cantu.