April celebrates and promotes awareness of numerous important people and subjects.
Throughout the month, a spotlight is shown on Military Children, Autism Awareness, Volunteer Appreciation, Child Abuse Prevention and Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention. With so much to learn about, there is no shortage of reasons to explore the family support services available in the Wiesbaden area.
Everyone Wins in This Race
Watch for teams participating in the Sexual Harassment and Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) program’s 4th annual Amazing Race Friday morning on Clay Kaserne.
Teams of five make their way around the five-kilometer ‘course’ from 6 am to 9 am. As they leave the Fitness Center, they face physical challenges and answer questions related to sexual assault and harassment at five different stations.
“We want to increase the knowledge of sexual assault and harassment policies and support as well the importance of consent,” said Bill Mottley, Garrison SHARP Program Manager.
With more than 40 teams registered last year, it’s highly encouraged to register your team prior to Friday morning. Teams set upon the course in heats so each team has the opportunity to visit every station. Individuals who would like to participate, may be grouped together to for a team the day of the race – pending they arrive prior to the start time.
Stations and challenges are set up by representatives from: U.S. Army Europe (USAREUR), 66th Military Intelligence, Army Substance Abuse Program (ASAP)/Military Police (MP), Army Community Services (ACS) and 2nd Theater Signal Brigade/522nd Military Intelligence Battalion.
Top finishers receive prizes and all participants who finish the race receive credit for their annual SHARP training.
Clothing Swap Draws Hundreds for Fusion Day
Kick off the various Awareness Month activities began April 2nd with Fusion Day. Supporting programs and representatives gathered at the Wiesbaden Entertainment Center to share information and interact with the community one-on-one including the first “Look SHARP” clothing swap.
“It’s a way to engage with our community about our various support programs,” said Deborah Wagner, Garrison Victim Advocate with SHARP program. “We combined an outreach event and practical event that allowed the community to learn about our programs and refresh their wardrobes.”
Hundreds of community members attended the Fusion Day event kicked-off by Command Sgt. Maj. Chad L. Pinkston.
Pinkston acknowledged and thanked the program leaders and volunteers that helped make the event possible. He added it’s up to all of us to be supportive in our community, especially in the cases of sexual assault.
“It goes against our Army values,” he said. “We must continue to demonstrate our commitment and support to our community and victims.”
As part of the clothing swap, community members donated new and gently used clothing items for men, women and children in the weeks prior to the event. Anyone with base access was invited to attend the event, learn more about the programs offered through ACS and take home any clothing items they may need.
Support Programs Available Year-Round
Kicking off the month with a joint effort of ACS family and community support programs just made sense, Mottley said. The ACS programs are here for the community and we want to be sure the community is aware of all we offer, he added as he reminded the crowd that consent never goes out of style.
“We provide annual training to our service members and civilian employees, but we don’t always reach the families and dependents,” he added. “It’s really important to raise awareness of our programs to the whole community.”
Representatives from the Family Advocacy Program (FAP), American Red Cross, USO Wiesbaden, Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP), Educational and Developmental Intervention Services (EDIS), Employment Readiness Program (ERP), Wiesbaden Army Health Clinic (WAHC), Army Emergency Relief (AER) and more were available to answer questions and provide additional information to attendees.
“It’s vital we let the community know we are here for them,” said Victor Garcia, EFMP Manager. “(Our goal) is work with families and enrich their lives.”
Participants gained infant massage skills, clothing for all ages, information and direct interaction with support program leaders and staff.
“We’re here if you need something,” said Alissa Fitzgerald-Osterhaut, FAP New Parent Support Manager. “We have professionals and resources on hand. If we don’t have it, we can help you find it.”