Marine Wing Support Squadron 171 Marines and various other units’ volunteers hosted the Yahata Gakuen children's home at the WaterWorks Pool here July 21, 2012.
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan -- The children came for a pool party and traditional American barbecue during a day of swimming, games, food and loving volunteers.
“This is an event that has been taking place for the last four years,” said Jesus Dominguez, MWSS-171 Marine volunteer.
“MWSS-171 sponsors this orphanage and we bring them aboard station twice a year. During the summer, we extend an opportunity to the kids for them to have a day of fun at the pool.”
Plenty of food and drinks were brought for the volunteers and children.
“There’s tons of food,” said Dominguez. “We have about 100 to 115 people here right now ... so it really shows the will of every one here and their willingness to help to make a difference and touch the hearts of these children. This specific orphanage has about 60 kids and there’s a little over 40 here today.”
MWSS-171 was not the only organization to assist the children. The Calvary Chapel Church also assisted with the donations and volunteer efforts.
“We were happy to be able to spend time with the kids from the children’s home,” said Walter Chan, Calvary Chapel Church volunteer. “A lot of these kids have gone through a lot, so they don’t get many opportunities to smile. So we get the chance to show them love and also a little American culture with a traditional American barbecue with burgers and hotdogs. I told a lot of the people at the church what was going on and they were all happy to help. They brought over cupcakes and baked goods and things like that.”
The Marines had one rule they felt was beneficial to the kids: Every child had a Marine or sailor buddy who spent the entirety of the visit with them. At the end of the event, the enjoyment spending a day aboard station showed on each child’s face, and the satisfaction of providing such a day was reflected from the Marines and volunteers.