THE FAMOUS U.S. ARMY recruitment poster reads, “I WANT YOU!” Well, you don’t necessarily have to enlist in the army to make a difference. I want you…to show American troops serving overseas our community’s appreciation for their hard work and sacrifice by supporting Tikkun 4 Troops on June 11!
Tikkun 4 Troops is an annual event of NextGen of Jewish Federation & Family Service, organized in collaboration with Operation Gratitude and JCC Cares. After successfully assembling over 3,000 care packages last year and being honored with the 2016 “Nonprofit of the Year” award by the State of California for their efforts, they are aiming even higher this year by increasing the goal to build 5,000 care packages.
The purpose of this event is to galvanize the good will of the Orange County community in an effort to collect goods for the assembly of care packages to be forwarded to service members deployed in harm’s way. These actions are to enable our community members and participants the experience of making a tangible difference in the lives of military personnel.
Aaron Schilleci is the Chair of Tikkun 4 Troops. He additionally serves as an active leader in our community with his work as a 2014 ADL Glass Leadership Institute Fellow. Born and raised in SoCal, Aaron spent his college years between CSUN and UCLA and became an Army Officer in 2001. After serving multiple combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, Aaron and his family moved back home to Huntington Beach where he actively remains in service to our country as an Assault Helicopter Battalion Executive Officer and Director of Public Works at the Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alamitos.
“Tikkun for Troops means so much to me personally and to the NextGen OC organization collectively because this event provides a transcendent opportunity for our community to make a tangible and positive impact on the lives of our service members in combat. Having personally received three of these packages during multiple combat deployments, I can attest to the amount of warmth, gratitude and appreciation experienced on the receiving end of this outstanding program,” said Schilleci.
His overarching vision is to continue building the foundation of generational Jewish leadership and provide a deeper understanding and connection between the Southern California Jewish and military communities through engaged leadership and community action.
Aaron’s guidance document for Tikkun 4 Troops was done with military precision and view-from-the-Blackhawk-at-10,000-feet overview on the whole event, I was in good hands and so is Orange County with this fearless leader.
This is where our community can help: We’re collecting the following items for inclusion into the care packages for active duty troops currently deployed in harm’s way –Dental hygiene products*, personal hygiene products*, hand sanitizer* (*travel size items and please no bar soap), lip balm, dark colored socks, gum, mints and blank greeting cards and envelopes. All of these items can be found at their Amazon Wish List, http://a.co/fD8gvsm
Items can be sent to: Jewish Federation & Family Services, Tikkun 4 Troops Samueli Jewish Campus 1 Federation Way Ste. 210 Irvine, CA 92603. Don’t forget to bring the whole family and volunteer on June 11, at 9:00 a.m. at the Merage Jewish Community Center to assemble the care packages, write letters to our troops and more! For more information about the event please email Tanya@jffs.org.
Tanya Schwied graduated from New York University, studied abroad in Israel, and currently works as the Coordinator of Outreach and Engagement for the NextGen Department at Jewish Federation & Family Services, Orange County.