Editor’s note: This is the 12th in a series of United Way agency profiles scheduled for publication each Sunday, Wednesday and Friday through Nov. 21.
By Eric Butler
Sitting on the floor and eating a pizza in a house you’re about to move into has a certain romantic quality about it.
At least for the first night.
Past that, people tend to get anxious about setting up their new place.
For Air Force personnel that have just been transferred to Clovis, Cannon AFB Family Services tries to ease the transition.
“We had nothing; we just had the clothes that we brought with us. We only moved here from Oklahoma and we didn’t expect it to take 2 1/2 weeks for our stuff to get here,” said Sarah Dubberly, who came to Cannon with husband Jesse in June, 2001.
“We were fortunate enough to get a house the second day we were here, but our stuff hadn’t arrived,” Dubberly said. “You don’t want to go to Wal-Mart and buy a kitchen table, plates and utensils. The first night, we just stood at the counter and ate — and you take that for granted.”
Family Services loaned the Dubberlys household furniture and smaller items including sheets, pillows and pots and pans.
Family Services Director Ron Dixon, who retired from the Navy and joined the organization 11 months ago, said the goods come from “loan lockers.” The group also loans out toys for children of families in transition and for other military-affiliated persons with special circumstances.
“We also work with retirees, if they come in and they’re living in the community and they need an item to get by,” Dixon said.
“We won’t loan it to them for any major length of time, but we will lend to them on a case-by-case basis.”
Dixon said the primary clientele for Family Services are active-duty personnel who are undergoing a permanent change-of-station (PSC). And the director emphasizes the services are free of charge.
“For people who are PCS-ing, whether they’re coming in or going out, they can at least live some normal household life while they’re waiting,” Dixon said. “It usually lasts anywhere from two-to-four weeks. The money comes from United Way, so it doesn’t cost them anything at all.
“We don’t do Lazy-Boy recliners, or anything like that. But we lend sturdy card tables, dishes. We build two- or four-person family sets and there’s essentially nothing that they lack in those sets,” Dixon said.
Cannon AFB Family Services
Mission: To loan material goods to incoming personnel, or to other special cases, while their possessions are en route.
Estimated annual operating budget: $10,000
Amount contributed by Curry County United Way: approximately 37 percent