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Peoria Airman and Family Readiness Center provides school supplies to military families

Family looks through school supplies.

U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Melissa Gray, a personnel specialist with the Peoria Naval Operations Support Center, picks up school supplies with her children during the Back to School Brigade at the 182nd Airlift Wing in Peoria, Ill., Aug. 4, 2019. Over 150 free school supply kits, with materials provided by local stores, were handed out through the Airman and Family Readiness Center to aid in preparing children for school and to ease the financial burden on military families. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Jay Grabiec)

Man looks through school supplies.

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. John Wiesbrock, the vehicle maintenance NCO in charge with the 264th Combat Communications Squadron, Illinois Air National Guard, picks up school supplies during the Back to School Brigade at the 182nd Airlift Wing in Peoria, Ill., Aug. 4, 2019. Over 150 free school supply kits, with materials provided by local stores, were handed out through the Airman & Family Readiness Center to aid in preparing children for school and to ease the financial burden on military parents. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Jay Grabiec)

Family looks through school supplies.

U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Melissa Gray, a personnel specialist with the Peoria Naval Operations Support Center, picks up school supplies with her children during the Back to School Brigade at the 182nd Airlift Wing in Peoria, Ill., Aug. 4, 2019. Over 150 free school supply kits, with materials provided by local stores, were handed out through the Airman and Family Readiness Center to aid in preparing children for school and to ease the financial burden on military families. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Jay Grabiec)

Man looks through school supplies.

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. John Wiesbrock, the vehicle maintenance NCO in charge with the 264th Combat Communications Squadron, Illinois Air National Guard, picks up school supplies during the Back to School Brigade at the 182nd Airlift Wing in Peoria, Ill., Aug. 4, 2019. Over 150 free school supply kits, with materials provided by local stores, were handed out through the Airman & Family Readiness Center to aid in preparing children for school and to ease the financial burden on military parents. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Jay Grabiec)

PEORIA, Ill. --

Community and military service members in Peoria, Ill., gave a helping hand at the Illinois Air National Guard’s 182nd Airlift Wing for the nationwide Back-to-School Brigade hosted by “Operation Homefront” Aug. 4.

The Back-to-School Brigade campaign gives children of military families the opportunity to start the school year with all the supplies they need to be successful.

Hosting as a distribution site for all Peoria-area military branches and families, this is the fifth year that the 182nd has taken part in the school supply collection campaign. Over 50 families used this resource for the upcoming school year and more than 150 kits were distributed.

Kim Crouch, the Airman and Family Readiness Center coordinator for the 182nd, has worked with Operation Homefront to support various events for several years.

“We do this to give military families an extra resource and really want them to know what kind of support we have available to them,” said Crouch.

Airman Noah A. Curry, a cyber surety specialist with the 182nd Communications Flight, was one of the volunteers for the event.

“It was a pleasure to help the families get school supplies today,” said Curry. “School is very important for children, and I’m glad I took a part in helping families get full advantage of what opportunities the military has to offer.”

Volunteers from surrounding areas such as Bartonville, Chillicothe and Pekin collected donations from supporting sponsors for this event.

The Airman and Family Readiness Center serves as a resource for information, programs, training and referrals for all service members and their families. You can contact Family Readiness with the 182nd Airlift Wing at 309-633-5339 if you have any questions or interest about what programs and opportunities are available.