Airmen active in community

Cannon Connections: Alisa Boswell From left, Jeff Waldrop, Donnell Clark and Gabriel Alaniz all take a lunch break Sept. 3 after working half a day on building a home in Clovis for Habitat for Humanity. The three airmen all volunteer for various local organizations and events. Waldrop said he volunteered back home before joining the military.

Alisa Boswell

Many Cannon Air Force Base airmen are passionate about volunteering for charitable projects within their local communities. With this in mind, Cannon Connections decided to talk to some Cannon airmen about their passion for volunteerism and where it comes from.

• Airman First Class Mark Hawkins said he has done volunteer work for most of his adult life.

“It allows me to put myself out there,” Hawkins said. “Get to know the community better and it keeps me busy.”

Hawkins said he is part of Habitat for Humanity and the Single Airmen’s Group at Cannon, which helps at the Lighthouse Mission, puts together boxes for deployed members and volunteers to help with retirement ceremonies.

• Airman First Class Jeff Waldrop said he used to do a lot of volunteer work back home in Mobile, Ala.

“Mainly, I went to a homeless shelter with my church and fed the homeless,” Waldrop said. “Honestly, I just like helping people. I’m just trying to stay busy.”

Waldrop is currently helping with the most recent Habitat for Humanity project in Clovis.

“I got an e-mail about it, so I decided to volunteer,” he said.

• Airman First Class Drew Matter, who volunteers for Habitat for Humanity, said his dad has been in construction for the last 30 years and he has been helping him for the last 10 years in Groveland, Calif.

“I like being able to put my talents to good use,” Matter said. “And I had nothing better to do this weekend.”

Matter said Cannon was his first duty assignment and he has been at the base since April.

“I hear about a lot of stuff by e-mail. If I get an e-mail, I respond,” Matter said of volunteering. “It’s fun. You get to get out and get off base and do something while also helping people out.”

Matter said he also previously volunteered for work at the Pioneer Days Rodeo and as security at the Shattering the Silence concert.

• Senior Airman Bianca Beckam said she began volunteering after she joined the military to gain credit for her evaluations, but she has continued doing volunteer work, because she enjoys it.

She volunteers at the Lighthouse Mission, sorting clothing and giving food away and for Habitat for Humanity.

“It seemed like something interesting and new to do,” she said. “It’s rewarding helping other people out and knowing you made a difference.”

• Airman First Class Daniel Herrera is also part of the Single Airmen’s Group and Habitat for Humanity.

“I never had a lot growing up, so I like to give back and help people,” Herrera said, “I know how much it means and how important it is.”