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Family Nerf night fosters advocacy

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Kyle E. Gese
  • 82nd Training Wing Public Affairs

Sometimes all that’s needed is a little hygge, which is a Danish word for enjoying the happy and peaceful moments with good friends and family.


The Madrigal Youth Center was filled with hygge as the children struck first with their arsenal of Nerf weaponry all while spending quality time with their family, April 13, 2017.


The parents and children found themselves hunkered down behind street cones and barricades as the bullets began to fly. The ground was littered with foamy darts in only a matter of minutes. Even though Nerf weapons don’t fire the most accurate of projectiles, it was hard to miss the smiles and laughter that erupted almost immediately.


The Sheppard Family Advocacy hosted the family friendly Nerf night in union with April’s Child Abuse Prevention month theme to promote an active environment for families and encourage them to unplug and enjoy bonding together.


Family advocacy also hopes to educate families of the various services they provide to help eliminate child abuse.


“We have a campaign called ‘actions speak louder than words,’” said Tiffany Esparza, Family Advocacy outreach manager. “This is one of the events we do in our campaign to get families together and interacting and away from the digital world.”


It’s not often you get an opportunity to fire a few rounds off at your children or for the children, at their parents. Thankfully those foamy projectiles allowed everyone to blow off some steam and left everyone uninjured and happy.


“We all know that our spouses, partners, nor children come with manuals,” Esparza added. “Luckily, Family Advocacy offers many different programs that you can take advantage of for free and with no documentation or record made through our prevention programs.”


While the battle raged on inside the Madrigal gym, one parent took a moment to express just how important Family Advocacy is and how much she enjoyed the event.


“What was exciting to us was that our child was excited,” said Airman 1st Class Katrina Marquardt, 82nd Medical Support Squadron service treatment records manager. “Three weeks out our son was like, ‘let’s go mom!’ and I’m very family oriented, so having an opportunity to do something and have the kids involved, that’s huge.”


As the night came to a close, it was time to gather all the bullets and head home. It was hard to tell who won the battle as everyone celebrated that evening.


The Sheppard Family Advocacy plans to hold a second match this year in October to unite families once again on the field.


For more information about Family advocacy, visit Sheppard Cares or call DSN: 676-2271. You can also sign up for their classes on Leadership Pathways.


Some additional services they provide are designed to enhance parental skills, anger and stress management skills, communication skills and relationship skills. They also offer individual, couple and marital counseling as well as educate new and expectant parents.