More than $120,000 raised to support programs for children of National Guard members
As America has seen service-member deployments increase in the almost 20 years since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, it also commonly witnesses joyful reunions of family members, sometimes via surprise appearances often found on social media.
Between the departures and the arrivals is where Christine Kubik enters the picture.
Kubik, the director of joint support and outreach services for the Delaware National Guard, is a volunteer board member for the Delaware National Guard’s Youth Foundation. The nonprofit has the mission of developing discipline, character and resilience in children of Delaware National Guard members through prevention programs, education and activities that enhance and build young leaders within the military community.
Part of that effort is the annual Camp Colwell experience, a weeklong summer camp held at the Delaware National Guard’s Bethany Beach training site, where dependents of current and retired Guard members spend seven days together.
In three years, Kubik’s work has led to more than $120,000 raised to support programs for children of National Guard members.
For all of her efforts, Kubik is the recipient of the 2019 Waste Masters Solutions Hometown Hero Service Award. Kubik will be honored during pre-race ceremonies before the “Gander RV 400” Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday, May 5 and be presented with a $1,000 check which will go to the charity of her choice.
Kubik, a Middletown, Delaware, native, first engaged with the military through the Delaware National Guard, when her brother Adam deployed to Iraq in 2003. Kubik started working for the Guard in various capacities beginning in 2008.
Kubik also leads Delaware Joining Forces, a network of state agencies and external service providers who proactively work together to provide solutions that improve the quality of life and welfare of the statewide military and veteran community.
“I have always believed in service to others, and in my day to day job – along with all my volunteer work – I am afforded the opportunity to help others which I find very fulfilling,” Kubik says.
Camp Colwell uses group activities to develop character, discipline and resilience in children of National Guard members. More than 50 volunteers give time in various concentration sections, including as counselors, kitchen/mess work, crafts, medical and operations.
“Military kids are different,” Kubik says. “Our soldiers and airmen make a personal choice to raise their hand to serve – however, the family serves right there with them.
“Absences are hard and trying for our families. Moms and Dads miss birthdays, sports games and special moments – as they deploy, train and serve in the National Guard. We try to help our kids find common ground and friendships with each other and teach them resilience through our programming.”
Highlights of previous camps include visits by Philadelphia Eagles front office personnel in 2018, where the camp children were able to try on a sample Super Bowl championship ring. The visit was organized by Steve Masterson, the president and CEO of Waste Masters Solutions.
“In my volunteer work, I do a lot of fundraising and special events – and Steve is always instrumental and supportive,” Kubik says. “Steve has shown unwavering support to the Delaware National Guard and is always influencing others about military service.”
Kubik is looking forward to attending her first NASCAR race this weekend – her father was a Bobby Allison fan. Following that, another Camp Colwell week is on tap for this summer.
“These kids are amazing,” Kubik says. “I always say at the end of a long camp week – they teach me more than I can ever give to them.”
For more information on the Delaware National Guard’s Youth Foundation and to learn about volunteer opportunities, follow them on Facebook or Instagram @DNGYouthFoundation.