1st Cavalry News
Neighborhood Advisory Council delivers food to 200 needy Qadasiya families
By Spc. Alexis Harrison (Thank you Alexis and crew for keeping the good news flowing!)
2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs
BAGDHAD – A little more than two years ago, the Qadisiya Neighborhood Advisory Council began working with troops from the 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment in hopes of making improvements to their neighborhood.
After the artillery regiment from the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division left, the counsel continued its efforts in rebuilding and improving the quality of life for its residents.
Earlier this year, in March, the “Red Dragons” got the message they’d be assuming responsibility for that very same neighborhood they watched flourish a couple years ago.
Although the commanders, troops and times had changed, the relationship between the Soldiers and community leaders has stood the test of time.
Capt. Don Cherry, commander of Battery A, 3-82 FA noted that although his troops enjoy working with the locals and civic leaders, the neighborhood council has shown the ability to take care of business on its own.
“They are on the forefront of what a [Neighborhood Advisory Council] should be,” said Cherry, a native of Bolivar, Tenn. “These have been their projects that they’ve made happen. We just try to help any way we can.”
The differences can alarm you if you go into some of the neighborhoods of Qadisiya. Bushes are neatly trimmed. Markets bustle with the hum of trading and bartering. Scores of children come out of functioning schools to safely walk home. This, Cherry said, is all thanks to the tireless efforts the neighborhood council has put back into its community.
The council organized a food drop for those in need of a little victual assistance May 8. What’s more amazing than giving food out to more than 200 families is the fact that the council members hand-delivered the vouchers to families they knew could use the help. They handed out vouchers good for basic food items like sugar, flour, oil, rice and tea.
Udai Jalal, the deputy chairman of the council, said that being a life-long resident of the neighborhood has helped him and his fellow council members in every way possible.
He said that knowing families by name and having such good relations with them has made helping them and identifying problems so much more easy.
“These people take pride in their neighborhood, and it shows,” Jalal said. “This is the best neighborhood in Baghdad.”
This wasn’t the first time a food drop had been organized and executed by the council. Just a few weeks ago they distributed food to more than 150 families.
Cherry said that since they’d began working with the council members, short-term goals like small repairs and humanitarian efforts have all been achieved. Now, he said, is the time to start looking into long-term projects like standing up a health clinic for the residents and sustaining essential services like trash removal, water and electricity.
“The battery is definitely motivated on this mission – getting to help and interact with people,” Cherry said. “[The council] does appreciate the fact that we kind of stay in the background and let them create self-sustainment.”
Eager residents of Baghdad’s Qadisiya neighborhood wait in line for a bag full of rice, flour, oil and other basic food items during a humanitarian mission organized by the Qadisiya Neighborhood Advisory Council May 8. More than 200 families received assistance. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Alexis Harrison, 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs)
A determined young boy from Baghdad’s Qadisiya neighborhood helps his mother and sister carry a bag full of groceries back to their home after a humanitarian food drop organized by the Neighborhood Advisory Council May 8. More than 200 families received assistance. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Alexis Harrison, 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs)