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THE TRANSATLANTIC MAGAZINE

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Master Sgt Aisling Loftus Master Sgt Aisling Loftus. US Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Joseph Barron

US Air Force Master Sgt Leads NHS Donation Drive

The care packages organized by Master Sgt Aisling Loftus are supporting NHS healthcare workers in the Bury St Edmunds area

Published on June 21, 2020

US Personnel at RAF Mildenhall have been arranging donations of food and hygiene items for local NHS workers fighting Coronavirus. The donations, which have seen more than 3000 food and hygiene items gathered, are being given to the NHS system in the Bury St Edmunds area, near to the base.

The organizer of the project, Master Sgt. Aisling Loftus, 100th Force Support Squadron postal superintendent, explained that "I was looking to get involved in the community because that’s my passion. I like to help people. I reached out to the National Health Service in Bury St. Edmunds, who oversees about 5,000 healthcare workers, and asked what we could do." Beginning with donating travel sized items including shampoos, conditioners, hand sanitizers and snacks, Master Sgt Loftus then worked with other master sergeants, senior master sergeants and chief master sergeants making up the 'Top 3 Committee' at the base to expand the campaign.

Master Sgt. Jeremiah Gates, 100th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Department assistant chief of training, praised Loftus, saying "Master Sergeant Loftus’s impact was huge in generating the idea to donate to our local NHS organizations, primarily the NHS system in Bury St. Edmunds. She saw the need and worked with our Top-3 Executive Council and Top-3 members from Team Mildenhall to generate the support we needed to make this campaign work."

The drive, which began in February, has seen specially marked boxes placed around the Mildenhall base for personnel to contribute. The donation boxes will remain in place until June 25, but Master Sgt. Loftus is hoping to extend the campaign. "It’s been going really well. We’re actually looking at extending it into July now, just to give people more time to donate. Even if it’s something small like going to the store and buying snacks, little things can make a difference."

Thank you to all the personnel at Mildenhall who have made donations to the campaign, and we salute M/Sgt Loftus for a great initiative to support the NHS at this difficult time.

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