Operation Warm Heart pays off layaway balances, hands out gas gift cards to ‘spread holiday cheer’

  • Published
  • By Richard Essary
  • 75th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah -- Christmas came a little early for some members of the Team Hill community here.

Operation Warm Heart, a non-profit organized by first sergeants, paid off nearly $2,000 of layaway balances at the AAFES Base Exchange.

Store manager Edward James said the surprise visit Dec. 18 was sure to “spread holiday cheer” and put smiles on the faces of customers.

“Everyone will appreciate this good gesture from our Hill team. We appreciate your service,” he said.

Master Sgt. Jacob Arbogast, Team Hill Operation Warm Heart president and 729th Air Control Squadron first sergeant, said the purpose of Operation Warm Heart is to provide financial help to Airmen and their families that find themselves in difficult situations.

Throughout the year, the organization assists countless Airmen with hardships ranging from car repairs to plane tickets to groceries, and everything in-between.

Arbogast said another one of their goals is to do “random acts of kindness.”

“We decided to pay off all of the layaways, regardless of who it belonged to,” he said.

In addition to the layaways, first sergeants visited the AAFES gas station Friday to hand out more than $1,000 in $25 gas gift cards.

“The gas giveaway is something we like to do a few times a year,” Arbogast said. “Paying off the layaways was new this year. We were looking to do something different that would catch people off guard – in a good way – and help put smiles on faces."