Barrigada mayor’s office donates to USS Roosevelt task force

U.S. Navy personnel pick up donations for the USS Theodore Roosevelt coming from the Barrigada Mayor's Office. The donations include snacks, candy, cereal, toiletries, laundry detergent, books, coffee pods, blankets, pillows, towels and more.

The Barrigada Mayor’s Office made a donation of snacks and candies to the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) Quality of Life (TR QOL) Task Force May 6.

Mayor June Blas and Vice Mayor Jessie Bautista made the donation on behalf of the residents of Barrigada, along with community partners. On March 27, the Roosevelt arrived at Apra Harbor. The Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier brought nearly 5,000 Sailors, hundreds of whom are being housed on NBG amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This really came from the Barrigada residents who reached out to me and I received so many messages through our community chat, and one of the messages said ‘These Sailors are not from here, I know they get meals every day but what can we do to give a little bit of extra comfort?’” Blas explained. “We worked with our community partners and they helped us achieve our goal to donate some snacks and candies.”

U.S. Naval Base Guam (NBG) Commanding Officer Capt. Jeffrey Grimes said the support is overwhelming.

“It has been tough for all of us, but to see our community come together, the way that they have – is truly remarkable,” Grimes said. “Acts of kindness like these is an inspiration that no matter what, we can count on each other to get through these challenging times.”

The task force and donations received are coordinated by the NBG Chapel and in recent weeks, the Chapel has served as the operations hub for hundreds of donations for the Roosevelt Sailors. The donations have come from an outpouring of support from members of the NBG community and USO Guam, among others. The donations include snacks, candy, cereal, toiletries, laundry detergent, books, coffee pods, blankets, pillows, towels and more.

“Initially, when the CO said we received donations from the Barrigada Mayor’s Office, my immediate thought was ‘this is amazing, the island of Guam is really thinking about our TR Sailors’,” said Lt. Cmdr. Kyu Lee, NBG chaplain. “Our saying is ‘Fighting from Guam, Fighting for Guam’ and now they’re fighting for us. It is the same concept but in reverse. They recognize the needs of the Sailors and it’s truly wonderful that they want to be a part of that. They are our brothers and sisters.”

Blas said the Barrigada Mayor’s Office has worked closely in the past with military partners including NBG, the 30th Naval Construction Regiment, and the 36th Logistics Readiness Squadron on various projects and outreaches in the village.

“We are so thankful for their service, this is the littlest thing that we could do for them,” Blas said. “I hope that we’ll continue to come together as a family and try to fight this together. (COVID-19) is new to all of us, but we’re doing the best we can to help stop the spread of the pandemic and we just need to help each other. Our office is open to everyone in our community. Vice Mayor and I are always here to see how we can help – we’re together in this.”