Yokota Chapel Homeless Ministry Outreach
Yokota Air Base, Japan -- Every month, Yokota Air Base members travel to Ueno Park, Tokyo, with one objective in mind; to inspire others through their core value of service before self.
On Sept. 15, 19 Yokota members volunteered their time and resources to ensure approximately 250 homeless men and women didn’t go another day without a meal.
Starting early in the morning, the volunteers helped setup, prepare, cook and serve the food to all the homeless that attend the ministry.
The Yokota Chapel Homeless Ministry Outreach, which began in 1998, helps feed over 2,000 homeless through a weekly outreach.
“It’s really a wonderful opportunity to take Airmen and their families to serve, and in a way live out our core values while seeing how fortunate we are,” said Lt. Col. Gloria Bun, 374th Airlift Wing chaplain, who has been involved with the homeless outreach for 11 years. “It’s such a great feeling to help those that are in need.”
Through the monthly food drives done at Yokota, volunteers help collect non-perishable items on behalf of the chapel to be able to continue this program.
“It’s so great that people want to continue to donate to the program,” said Maj. Kelly Stahl, 374 AW chaplain and first-time volunteer of the homeless ministry outreach. “People can bring us rice, oil and salt, and we continue to collect that and take it down once a month to the homeless ministry.”
Being stationed in Japan, Yokota Airmen and their families are given a unique opportunity to be ambassadors for the U.S. Air Force while strengthening bilateral relationships through their actions with our Japanese hosts.
“This outreach plays a huge part in strengthening bilateral relationships,” Bun said. “Not only are we being a positive influence to others, but we are also helping our Japanese counterparts that desperately need our help.”
“We’re the face of the base and America,” Stahl said. “We’re taking our time and effort to care for these individuals. People will see that we care and we really want to help the community.”
If you have any questions about this homeless ministry outreach or would like to volunteer your time, please contact the base chapel at: 225-7009.
“The homeless are extremely grateful,” Bun added. “Some of them may not have a meal otherwise if it weren’t for our efforts. It’s just an incredible blessing to be able to serve them and they’re most appreciative.”