A noncommissioned officer at Fort Indiantown Gap has been recognized for his volunteer efforts outside of the base.

Sgt. 1st Class Paul Almquist, a range operations officer with the Fort Indiantown Gap Training Center, was honored during a ceremony on Jan. 30 for his volunteer efforts with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region.

The community-based mentoring agency serves a region covering Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon and Perry counties. Almquist has served with the program for more than eight years.

According to a report from FTIG, Almquist received a Certificate of Appreciation for “his exceptional mentoring efforts.” Deborah Wright, director of the program for Lebanon and Lancaster counties, presented the award on behalf of Big Brothers Big Sisters.

“Big Brothers Big Sisters has given me more drive to be a better leader and person,” Almquist said. “It doesn’t take much to be impactful, just a few hours a month, and you could change someone’s life forever.”

Besides his regular mentoring activities, Almquist also volunteers for the Christmas gift drive for kids in the program.

“I can’t tell you, just the look on these kids’ faces, they don’t always have the greatest home to go to, and they get to have some gifts under their trees,” Wright said. “His work means a lot to them.”

Children in the program expressed their gratitude to Almquist by writing heartfelt thank-you cards for the Christmas presents they received, the release noted. “This small yet impactful gesture highlighted the positive influence and connection Almquist has established with the children in the program.”

Big Brothers Big Sisters matches children lacking a mentor with individuals who share similar interests. Mentors provide guidance, take the children on excursions, and spend quality time with them, fostering a supportive and caring relationship. Activities range from outings to the park to exploring Fort Indiantown Gap, offering the kids exposure to various experiences and positive role models.

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