NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- USS Abraham Lincoln's (CVN 72) First Class Petty Officer Association (FCPOA) and the Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions (CSADD) donated nearly 500 toys to An Achievable Dream Elementary School in Newport News, Dec. 17.
"The First Class Association, with help from the Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions, chose An Achievable Dream for the toy drive because of the long history and the partnerships the USS Abraham Lincoln has rekindled with the school as well as the significance of the opportunities provided to its students," said Aviation Structural Mechanic 1st Class Joanna Madrid.
Lt. David Duprey, USS Abraham Lincoln's staff chaplain discussed the power of peer leadership to help others in need.
"These two organizations are at the forefront of our community service effort," said Duprey. "They represent the best in peer leadership as they direct our Sailors to worthy efforts like Achievable Dream. Many of our Sailors come from home environments which lacked essential resources. Now, from their positions of strength and stability, they demonstrate a great willingness to provide for other children who need their support."
Madrid and Firecontrolman 2nd Class Meena Nelson, assigned to Lincoln's Combat Systems department, will help the elementary school deliver the toys to the students.
"It was an important factor for us to give back to a local organization that makes our community a better place. Any positive impact that we can make is worth the time and effort to show that we care about the community and its residents," said Madrid. "This is our home for the duration of the RCOH; we are not here simply to do our job, but also to be contributing members."
In addition to the toy donation, Capt. Karl Thomas, commanding officer, USS Abraham Lincoln, presented a ship's plaque to An Achievable Dream Middle and High School during a ceremony to tie the past with the present. Dunbar-Erwin Middle School, which later became An Achievable Dream Middle and High School, helped to gather more than 3,000 coins dated 1972 to affix to the nametags to the first CVN 72 crew's nametags prior to the carrier's commissioning 24 years ago Nov. 11, 1989.
More than two decades later, Lincoln Sailors currently assigned to the carrier's Engineering department are participating in Newport News Shipbuilding Career Pathways science, technology, engineering and math outreach at the middle and high school.
Lincoln is currently undergoing RCOH at Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries.
Lincoln is the fifth ship of the Nimitz-class to undergo a RCOH, a major life-cycle milestone. Once RCOH is complete, Lincoln will be one of the most modern and technologically advanced Nimitz-class aircraft carriers in the fleet and will continue to be a vital part of the nation's defense.
For more news from USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn72/.