Thursday, 18 April 2024

Ten-year-old's efforts illustrate the Christmas spirit

Mariah Bickham presents donations she collected for Operation Tango Mike to Ginny Craven. Photo by Ron Quick.




LAKEPORT – Mariah Bickham is a 10-year-old who is in the fifth grade in Lower Lake.

This little girl has the true spirit of Christmas in her heart. She has seen pictures of wounded troops, heard stories of troops being far from their families and has wanted to do something to support these soldiers.

This youngster turned her desire to help into an action plan.

She began collecting donations for Operation Tango Mike, in order to send support to those troops far from home.

Mariah arrived at the December packing party with cookies, candy and lots of goodies for care packages. She also presented over $100 that she collected on her own.

With her grandmother in tow, the enthusiastic young lady presented what she had collected, shyly smiling when the crowd of 57 supporters acknowledged her contribution with rousing applause.

Shortly thereafter, this busy child apologized for not being able to stay for the entire packing party as she had a commitment to attend basketball practice.

When thanked for supporting Operation Tango Mike and the troops Mariah said, “I’m not done,” and added, “We’ll be back!”

During the December packing party, dozens of volunteers assembled care packages, families shared deployment updates and everyone heard thank you notes from care package recipients read aloud. As always, a few tears were shed.

The spirit of giving, sharing and caring is alive and well in Lake County. The third Thursday of every month gives proof to the generosity of Lake County as there are somehow enough goods to fill all the care packages and funds to ship them.

This all volunteer effort is approaching the seven year mark, as the first packages were shipped in March 2003.

The fine folks of Lake County have seen to it that thousands of care packages have been sent to troops far from home and in harm’s way.

All the donations of goods, money and time have combined to make this possible. Lake County residents should be very proud of what they have accomplished and should feel good knowing of the hearts they have warmed.

Everyone is welcome to participate with Operation Tango Mike. Inquiries may be sent to 5216 Piner Court, Kelseyville, CA 95451, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or you may call 707-349-2838.

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Matthew Ochoa II decorates his daddy's care package. Photo by Ron Quick.




Matthew Ochoa II with his daddy's care package; mom Jennifer looks on. Photo by Ron Quick.




Joe Deleon puts the finishing touches on a care package. Photo by Ron Quick.


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