|Mrs. Ruth Chandler, Fort Gordon Army Community Service (ACS) volunteer, has been awarded the Emma Baird Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service. She will be recognized at a ceremony during National Volunteer Week, 9-15 April 2000. Mrs. Chandler was nominated by the United States Army Training and Doctrine Command for her service in many ACS programs at Fort Gordon and throughout the world.
Mrs. Ruth Chandler has served as the Volunteer Supervisor, Income Tax Advisor, Christmas House Coordinator, and the Founder/Director of the Fort Gordon Swap and Assist Shop contributing over 24,000 hours of service since 1977. While living at Kelly Barracks in Europe and volunteering with the ACS Welcome and Assistance Program, Mrs. Chandler realized that non-command sponsored military spouses needed an inexpensive way to furnish a home or clothe their children.
Mrs. Chandler then developed the innovative concept of collecting used household items and providing a central point for distribution. Because she initially lacked a facility, Mrs. Chandler worked from the trunk of her car; however, ACS soon supported the program.
As she traveled with her spouse to various military installations, Mrs. Chandler established the Swap and Assist program at each location. Establishing this new program sometimes meant cleaning and renovating an available facility to fit program needs. Once established, her concept continued to assist families when Mrs. Chandler moved to another location. Today there are Swap and Shop programs at numerous military installations throughout the world. The impact of Mrs. Chandler’s idea has truly been felt throughout the world. This program continues to operate on Fort Gordon today where Mrs. Chandler is not only the manager but is also a mentor and role model to younger spouses. Her sincere concern for soldiers and their family members has been demonstrated over twenty-three years with consistent and continuous volunteer service to Army Community Service.
In addition to her volunteer duties with ACS, Mrs. Chandler served in many capacities throughout the military community. Within the OWC, Mrs. Chandler served as the Membership Chairperson, Chairman of Fundraisers, Thrift Shop Volunteer, Treasurer, and Chairperson for Welfare and Services. While in Stuttgart, she volunteered as the German-American Bazaar Chairperson. As the spouse of a military retiree, Mrs. Chandler is committed to the Retired Officers’ Auxiliary serving as the Treasurer and President.