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Mom organizes donations for coronavirus evacuees at MCAS Miramar

Posted at 5:53 PM, Feb 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-29 11:42:08-05

MIRAMAR, Calif. (KGTV) - A mother took on the mission to organize donations for Americans evacuated from China, amid coronavirus concerns.

Erin Dockery, wife of Commanding Officer of MCAS Miramar Charles Dockery, never thought in a million years that 240 evacuees would be in quarantine on base. But as soon as they came, she recognized they had a lot in common.

"We are a community that is familiar with loss, with heartache, with anxiety," Dockery said.

RELATED: Second group of coronavirus evacuees released from quarantine at MCAS Miramar

She wasted no time jumping in to help, asking her husband for a point of contact and meeting with Health and Human Services Representatives to ask what they need.

"My original question was can we send letters, and then it grew to monstrous proportions," Dockery said. She got a list of needs, and put out the call on two military spouse Facebook pages. What she didn't expect was a tidal wave of donations.

Everything from laundry detergent, to hotel sized toiletries (to prevent waste), to games, "all kinds of letters, love, acknowledgment, tips."

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One of the requests still sticks out in her mind.

"Young children in China eat a lot of eggs, hard-boiled eggs and they were having a hard time satiating that need ... How do you say no to the babies?" she asked. "The babies need their eggs, and within minutes that SignUpGenius was full, like 8 dozen, 8 dozen, 8 dozen."

When families flew in and found out their luggage was misplaced, Dockery's car filled with clothes in a couple hours.

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"There was a few Marine Corps shirts in there, so I'm wondering if anyone is sporting our gear," she said.

Now that both groups of evacuees have been released, stories of gratitude are starting to reach Dockery.

"They've [Health and Human Services] gotten thank you cards, they've gotten you know, 'thank you so much to the community making it easier for us'. I was like, 'can you take pictures?' Because that's the cool stuff, it's nice to know, we wanted to send them a message," she said.

That message, according to Dockery, is the military is here to protect and help every American.