Big Give brings Cannon, local community together

By Liliana Castillo: Cannon Connections

About 100 Cannon Air Force Base airmen and family members spent April in the community working in hospitals, nursing homes, animal shelters, cleaning graffiti and more.

The community service is part of the Big Give project. The project is a way for airmen to be involved in the community, Project Manager Paul Hopkins said.

“This is just a way for airmen to be able to give,” Hopkins said.

The teams have a chance at a first prize of $3,000, second prize of $1,500 and a people’s choice award of $500.

Kristine Nimmo, a member of the Special Operations Logistics and Readiness Squadron Key Spouses group, and her team focused on gang prevention.

“One of the goals of the Big Give is to create a good relationship between Cannon and the community,” Nimmo said.

Her group thought that cleaning graffiti met that goal.

“We visibly saw what the community could use,” Nimmo said.

Nimmo said her group receives calls from law enforcement and others letting them know where graffiti is located. The group called the owners of the building and asked if they could paint over the graffiti.

Nimmo said the Big Give is helping bring Cannon and the community closer.

“I think that people consider them two separate entities,” Nimmo said. “But we live in the community. The more we can join all of us together, that really sends the message we’re not an us and them, we’re all in this together.”

Nimmo said throughout the month, the graffiti clean up group would show up at a graffitied building and find that the graffiti had been painted over already.

“What’s been inspiring about that is that someone is doing it along with us,” Nimmo said. “Just by bringing some attention to it, others are joining in.”

The Big Give ends today.