PORTSMOUTH, Va. (NNS) -- In celebration of the of the 121st Chief Petty Officer (CPO) birthday, the Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic (CNAL) CPO Mess, along with CPO 365, volunteered at the Oasis Soup Kitchen, April 1.
Oasis was founded in 1972, and has dedicated efforts into feeding and clothing the homeless. Today it hosts more than 5,000 individual visits per month for those seeking assistance.
"Today, more than 100 people are going to be fed," said Gerry Mattoon, kitchen manager for Oasis. "We wouldn't be able to do this without volunteers. Thank you to all the chiefs and service members that are supporting this important mission."
Personnel Specialist 1st Class Devon Henesley, a member of CPO 365 who volunteered at the event, recalls a difficult time in his life where he learned the meaning of humility and the importance of giving back to the community.
"Today is not just a CPO celebration; to me it is a celebration of families," said Henesley. "We are here to give them hope in their current situation."
Last year, Oasis provided food assistance to 4,266 families, a total of 9,289 adults and children in need. In addition, more than $265,000 worth of clothing and household items was provided to the individuals.
"We are here to support their mission," said Senior Chief Aviation Ordnanceman Nelson Hernandez. "It is our job to protect and support the community, what better way to celebrate the chiefs' birthday."
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