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Dollar General donates backpacks for Tennessee National Guard Youth Camp

By Staff Sgt. Melisa Washington, Special to The Democrat • Dec 17, 2015 at 6:42 PM

GOODLETTSVILLE – For almost 20 years, the Tennessee National Guard’s Child and Youth Program has held a Youth Development Week for military-connected children of Tennessee. 

This year, the Child and Youth Program will play host to more than 200 campers from across the state on Boxwell Reservation in Lebanon.

Paige Major, child and youth program coordinator, explained the impact the camp makes on Tennessee’s military children. 

“This camp builds confidence in our military youth and cultivates friendships. Due to military families being geographically dispersed, this is a unique opportunity for them to take part in fellowship with other military-connected kids that share a common bond,” she said.

Campers spend the week team building and bonding with other children who understand the pressures that come with being part of a military family, usually at little or no cost to the family.  

In support of the youth camp, the Dollar General Corp. took time during its 2014 Human Resources Summit to donate and pack 300 backpacks with beach towels, water bottles, bug repellent, and sunscreen for campers and volunteers.

Lt. Col. James Reed, deputy director for the Tennessee National Guard Military Family Readiness Operations, expressed his gratitude for Dollar General’s donation to the youth camp.

“We really appreciate everything the Dollar General is doing for our kids, donating time putting these bags together,” he said to Dollar General employees during the summit.

Employees also packed snack bags for the United Services Organization, or USO, to be handed out to deploying troops from Fort Campbell, Ky. 

Dollar General Corp. is known for its exemplary community efforts through the Dollar General Literacy Fund, Paycheck for Patriots and several other campaigns.

Denine Torr, Dollar General Corp.’s community initiative director, said, “We want to be serving others, lifting them up.”

The Child and Youth Program welcomes donations for the local community and encourages other organizations to get involved.

“We appreciate the community support because it expands the quality of the program. Military youth have more opportunities than ever before due to the compassion and generosity of local organizations,” Major said.

For more information about the Tennessee National Guard Child and Youth Program and ways to donate, contact Major at 615-313-0547.

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