Top 3 hosts surprise fuel giveaway

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Master Sgt. Tasha McFarlande, 82nd Force Support Squadron superintendent of student relocations, surprises an Airman at the fuel pump Nov. 22 by letting him know that the Top 3 would be paying for his fuel. The Top 3 gave away $1,000 worth of fuel in spirit of families traveling for the holidays. (U.S. Air Force photo by 2nd Lt. Jacqueline Jastrzebski)

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Master Sgt. Shawn Hindes, 982nd Training Group superintendent of evaluations and a member of Sheppard’s Top 3, pumps gas for an Airman Nov. 22. The group gave away $1,000 worth of fuel in spirit of families traveling for the holidays. (U.S. Air Force photo by 2nd Lt. Jacqueline Jastrzebski)

SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --

‘Tis the season for giving and Sheppard’s Top 3 is leading the way by doing just that.

Senior NCOs met at the Army and Air Force Exchange gas station on base Nov. 22 to cover the cost of fuel for Airmen filling up before the holiday.

“We wanted to give back to the base populous and we wanted to do something meaningful before the holiday,” said Master Sgt. Shae Morganfield, 82nd Force Support Squadron superintendent. “Everybody is pumping up gas before they get on the road so we decided to pay for some of that.”

The paying-it-forward-inspired idea was kept a secret from the base. Those who happened to fill their tanks between the hours of 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. were surprised by smiling leaders at the pump.

Members of the Top 3 met Airmen as they pulled up, wished them a happy holidays, and let them know that their first $20 of fuel would be paid for.

“A lot of times, people see Top 3 fundraisers so it’s important for us to give that back to the community the best way we know how,” said Master Sgt. Debra Spivey, Base Career Assistance advisor and Top 3 president.

Comprised of senior enlisted members from Team Sheppard, the Top 3 knows that the base’s younger population looks to them for guidance and mentorship.

“It’s important for Airmen to see us giving back, and out of uniform, too, to see that we’re here to provide support,” Morganfield said.

The group was thankful for the AAFES leadership that granted them permission to host the giveaway at the base gas station and didn’t hesitate to help facilitate this random act of kindness.