HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – During the coronavirus pandemic, the S.C. National Guard was on a mission to make sure students were being fed, while also putting a smile on their faces by giving out books.
U.S. Army Warrant Officer James Hughes with the 117th Engineer Brigade said they came to Horry County about three weeks ago where they took over to help Horry County Schools distribute meals to students.
They would pick up food from school cafeterias in the morning and would establish pick-up sites for parents and children to pick-up meals.
During the operations, the guardsmen found out that the libraries have programs where they recycle books in order to make room for new ones. So instead of throwing out the books, they decided to hand those books out to children who come by and get meals.
“What we decided is to actually hand out the books to the children that come by and get a meal. So some of the books are part of their summer reading program that they were unable to distribute because of COVID-19 and then some of the books are older books that they were going to discard anyway,” Hughes said.
He added that most of the time, the kids are more excited to see the books than the meals.
Hughes said it’s missions like these are the reason he joined the National Guard.
“It’s really rewarding to all of us. Morale is very high, we’re really excited every morning, everybody’s smiling, anxious to get to work every day to see some of the same kids, but this is why you join the National Guard,” Hughes said.