Written by Sgt. Neysa Canfield
101st Sustainment Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (AA) Public Affairs
Fort Campbell, KY – The echoes of the audience’s applause overwhelm the Division headquarters February 19th as Allison Candelario’s name is called. She stands up from her chair and walks to the center of the room with a big smile on her face as she is about to receive a certificate of appreciation from Maj. Gen. Gary J. Volesky, the commanding general for the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), as one of the Division’s Volunteer of the Quarter.
Allison, a fourth grader from Barsanti Elementary, started volunteering over two years ago with the help of her parents, Maria and Daniel Candelario.“After watching the documentary ‘Tent City,’ she began to not only help the Soldiers but the community in general,” said Maria, mother of Allison. “After the movie, she insisted we go to Nashville as a family and deliver blankets. We delivered over 100 blankets that day.”
Allison dedicated over 90 hours ensuring Soldiers were welcomed home and assisted in various family readiness group holiday events by helping make baked goods and set up decorations. She also assisted her school’s cooking club with their Thanksgiving meal which served over 100 Soldiers from the Warrior Transition Unit and Replacement Company.
Aside from helping Soldiers, Allison also dedicated approximately 41 hours to coordinate and develop the first ever newsletter for her elementary school. After graduating from her cooking course, she has returned as a volunteer to mentor those students currently going through it.
“Although it might be difficult at times we will continue to support her,” said Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Candelario, father of Allison and a member of 594th Transportation Company, 129th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 101st Sustainment Brigade, 101st Airborne Division. “We are extremely proud and blessed to have her as a daughter. We realize this is just the beginning for her.”
“I love helping people,” said Allison when asked what motivates her. “The Soldiers’ reaction when I hand out cookies makes me happy.”