NEWS | Dec. 23, 2020

Naples Sailors Bring Holiday Cheer to Local Children

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Debra Thomas

Members of the U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa and U.S. Sixth Fleet First Class Petty Officer Association (FCPOA) donated over 40 toys to local children’s charity Centro Laila on Dec. 22, 2020.

The toys were collected Dec. 18 during an FCPOA-hosted event where “Sanitizer Claus” passed out small gifts and treats to the children of Naval Support Activity (NSA) Naples.

“Thanks to the support of NSA Naples, Support Site Fire Department, and dedicated First [Class Petty Officers], we were able to host Sanitizer Claus, a socially distant event [on base] that allowed our organization to host Santa himself and give cookie kits and toys to over 40 families,“ said Fire Control Technician 1st Class Christopher Goetz, Vice President of the NAVEUR-NAVAF/SIXTHFLT FCPOA. “Our association proved that you can be resilient through these difficult times while also celebrating the holidays and giving back to the host nation.”

Families were asked to bring a toy for donation to the event in support of local learning center Centro Laila.

“We never anticipated such an outpouring of generosity from our NSA Naples families,” said Goetz.  “We are thrilled to be able to support the community with such a significant donation.”

Centro Laila supports socioeconomically disadvantaged children, many of whom are the children of refugees.

“We thank the [NAVEUR-NAVAF/SIXTHFLT] Petty Officer’s Association and the U.S. Navy community so much for their support and help,” said Gisele Luciano, coordinator of Centro Laila. “Without people to help us, we cannot help the children.”

U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. Sixth Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conduct the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied, and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.