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Around The Fleet

Santa Delivers through Social Media

One chief and her mission to make a difference

Chief Deidra Wright loves to bake. She bakes mostly for therapeutic purposes, which often leaves her with more food than she can eat.

One evening, after baking a nice loaf of Banana Bread she decided to share it with her Neighbor Chuck, a 80-year-old retired chief, and his wife Mae. Noting the bond they share, both as neighbors and as chiefs, Chuck and Mae invited Wright in.

Then Mae said something Wright just couldn't shrug off.

"She told me she was worried about her neighbor and his two kids," said Wright. "Mae said her neighbor's daughter Adele calls her grandma and comes to visit each day. Then she said Adele told her that her dad said there won't be a Christmas this year."

Wright kept poking for more information. She even went to the rental office looking for information. She found out that the father works, but the money just isn't enough to cover the extras.

"I never had children, but my heart goes out to those children who have no mother to love them," said Wright.

So she sprang into action using social media to ask for help from other chief petty officers. She gave age range information for Adele and her brother Eric and pleaded her case.

"I know that times are bad for everyone this time of year and that everyone has a story, but please do not to just scroll on by," Wright posted on social media. "If they had in their hearts to donate or send anything, I just knew this family would appreciate it," said Wright.

Wright put out her address and waited. And she didn't have to wait long.

Within seconds comments were posted; Sailors offering clothing, money, toys and gift cards. Within minutes comments were made telling Wright to expect online deliveries within a few days.

Wright was vigilant with updates. Letting people know she had received their gifts, asking for addresses so she could send out thank you cards, meeting people in parking lots to collect gifts; the response was overwhelming.

She contacted this young man and his two children with the intention of giving this man she had never met, and his two children, a Christmas miracle.

"Turns out the young father we helped was a prior enlisted second class who was separated because of family hardship," said Wright. "He was stationed on the USS Truman. Helping a fellow shipmate made it even better! You never know who you may be helping out."

Wright left that day, having done what she set out to do, make a special memory for this family. This man and his family were extremely grateful and Wright felt her mission, at least for that day, was complete. Only, her brothers and sisters in the mess weren't quite done giving.

"A few days later I opened my door and saw another package sitting there, and I thought, great! Another gift for the kids," said Wright. "Then that same day I met with a brother chief who had bought pajamas for the kids."

And it didn't stop there.

"The other night I came back from shopping and visiting friends and there was another package," said Wright. "This morning when I left my house, I opened my door and boxes literally fell in the door!"

The support this father is continuing to get is incredible, said Wright.

"He was so grateful, as am I, for the kindness of people," said Wright. "And his little Adele had accepted, and was ok with the fact that she wasn't going to have a Christmas. I'm glad we were able to give her one."
  • Navy Photo

  • Navy Photo