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Team Mildenhall donates care packages to local NHS healthcare workers

Master Sgt. Aisling Loftus, 100th Force Support Squadron postal superintendent, assembles a care package of hygiene items at RAF Mildenhall, England, June 15, 2020. Loftus spearheaded an initiative led by the Top-3 committee to collect hygiene items, snacks, and money for local healthcare workers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joseph Barron)

Master Sgt. Aisling Loftus, 100th Force Support Squadron postal superintendent, assembles a care package of hygiene items at RAF Mildenhall, England, June 15, 2020. Loftus spearheaded an initiative led by the Top-3 committee to collect hygiene items, snacks and money for local healthcare workers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joseph Barron)

Master Sgt. Aisling Loftus, 100th Force Support Squadron postal superintendent, with a care package she assembled at RAF Mildenhall, England, June 15, 2020. Team Mildenhall has donated approximately 3,000 items to support the wellness of local healthcare workers fighting COVID-19. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joseph Barron)

Master Sgt. Aisling Loftus, 100th Force Support Squadron postal superintendent, with a care package she assembled at RAF Mildenhall, England, June 15, 2020. Team Mildenhall has donated approximately 3,000 items to support the wellness of local healthcare workers fighting COVID-19. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joseph Barron)

A fundraising officer accepts food and hygiene item donations from Team Mildenhall at West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds, England, June 9, 2020. The base has donated items since February to support front-line healthcare workers fighting COVID-19. (Courtesy photo)

A fundraising officer accepts food and hygiene item donations from Team Mildenhall at West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds, England, June 9, 2020. The base has donated items since February to support front-line healthcare workers fighting COVID-19. (Courtesy photo)

RAF Mildenhall, England --

The Top-3 committee, made up of master sergeants, senior master sergeants and chief master sergeants, at RAF Mildenhall, England, has organized the donation of thousands of food and hygiene items for local healthcare workers fighting COVID-19.

The donation campaign, led by Master Sgt. Aisling Loftus, 100th Force Support Squadron postal superintendent, has helped support doctors, nurses, ambulance drivers and medical workers throughout the region.  

“I was looking to get involved in the community because that’s my passion,” Loftus said. “I like to help people. I reached out to the National Health Service in Bury St. Edmunds, who oversees about 5,000 healthcare workers, and asked what we could do.”

After learning that food and hygiene products were most needed by the healthcare workers, Loftus began donating travel-sized shampoos, conditioners, hand sanitizers and snacks. She then spearheaded a base-wide effort with the help of the Top-3 committee to increase the number of donations.

“Master Sergeant Loftus’s impact was huge in generating the idea to donate to our local NHS organizations, primarily the NHS system in Bury St. Edmunds,” said Master Sgt. Jeremiah Gates, 100th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Department assistant chief of training. “She saw the need and worked with our Top-3 Executive Council and Top-3 members from Team Mildenhall to generate the support we needed to make this campaign work.”

Since the drive began at the end of February, Team Mildenhall has collected items in specially marked boxes found in places like the commissary, the base exchange, and 100th Air Refueling Wing headquarters.

“Together we’ve been able to gather more than 3,000 food and hygiene items and money to help local NHS health care workers,” Gates said.

The donation boxes will remain in place until June 25, but Loftus is looking to prolong the campaign.

“It’s been going really well. We’re actually looking at extending it into July now, just to give people more time to donate,” Loftus said.  “Even if it’s something small like going to the store and buying snacks, little things can make a difference.”