Lt Col Kilgore (far right) and LTC John Rios, Army Logistics University Joint Logistics Course Director received an appreciation award from CARES Executive Director Dr. Cheryl Riggins during their 30 year anniversary ceremony
Lt Col Terrence Kilgore is an AFIT instructor assigned to the Army Logistics University at Fort Lee, Virginia where he teaches joint logistics courses. When he joined the faculty at ALU, he learned about a local shelter called CARES. Kilgore saw an opportunity to make a difference in the community and volunteered to help collect donations of clothes and food.
“People donate money but they also buy things such as Raman noodles, cans of soup and vegetables, diapers and sanitary items for women. They will go into their closets at home and donate clothes that they no longer can wear. It is huge when we show up with two to three car loads of groceries and clothes,” said Kilgore.
Located 5 miles west of Fort Lee, the Crisis Assistance Response Emergency Shelter (CARES) runs the only emergency shelter for women and children in the local area. In addition, they operate a food pantry and clothes closet for low-income residents of Petersburg, VA.
Kilgore regularly goes through his family’s closets and generally donates a bag of clothing during each charity drive. He has built a strong relationship with CARES and is one of their largest and most consistent donors. The need is great and Kilgore has seen the impact of the donations immediately. “As we were offloading diapers to give to the CARES facility, one of the managers took a box, opened it and handed diapers to a woman who was holding a child wrapped in a towel because they had run out of diapers. Other times managers are taking canned goods as we are unloading them because the soup kitchen needs vegetables,” shared Kilgore.
For Kilgore running the charity drives has helped him to give back more consistently and he learned that it doesn’t take a lot of effort to make a huge difference in someone’s life. “What really brings it home for me is realizing that the very things that are sitting at home in my closet that I no longer want, nor can use, will raise the quality of living for another person living not more than five miles away who is the same as me,” Kilgore said.
In September, Kilgore will have 30 years of active duty service. Originally from Detroit, Michigan, he enlisted in the Air Force in 1998. He took college courses at lunch and in the evening, and after earning his degree he was accepted into Officer Training School where he was a distinguished graduate. He is a Logistics Readiness Officer who has served in Korea, Japan, Tunisia, Germany, England, and Diego Garcia.
When asked for advice on how others can start giving back, Kilgore says, “It’s pretty simple. Go out of the gate and turn left or right, go into an indigent or needy area and you will likely find a charity or aid organization in the area. All it takes is initiative – if you seek you will find no shortage of people in need of assistance.”