VALDOSTA – Members of Moody Air Force Base connected with local community organizations earlier this month during Leadership Moody’s Nonprofit Day. 

Leadership Moody is the 23rd wing commander’s development program for the senior enlisted, senior officers and senior ranking civilians, Lt. Col. Jeanae Jackson said.

Throughout a 10-month period, about 25 members visit with various organizations to learn leadership lessons and the challenges they face.

“The goal is … for us to learn lessons on how they lead their people that we can bring back and apply to how we lead our airmen and civilians at Moody, as well as to build community relations with the different organizations that we’re visiting,” Jackson said.

The group met with The Haven, the Children’s Advocacy Center of Lowndes County, Lowndes Associated Ministries to People, the YMCA, Second Harvest of South Georgia, the American Red Cross of South Georgia and the Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts.

Jackson said it was interesting gaining insight on how the organizational leaders guide their nonprofits, adding she was able to reflect on her leadership skills.

Master Sgt. Joshua Wood agreed Nonprofit Day brings the base closer to the Valdosta community.

Not originally from the South Georgia area, Wood said visiting the multiple agencies gives him a better grasp of the link between Moody and the local community.

“Being part of the program now for two years has really led me to understand the ties the community has to us as a base and allows me to then spread that message to the people that I work with, work for or who work for me,” Wood said.

Michael Smith, executive director for the Greater Valdosta United Way, helped assemble Nonprofit Day for Leadership Moody.

By meeting with the organizations, members of Moody can witness the appreciation people have for their service and sacrifice, he said.

“It’s just good any time that we can get people from Moody outside of the base and in the community and seeing all the benefits and the love that our local community has for Moody,” Smith said.

Participants received the chance to learn about volunteer opportunities.

Moody has been involved with the United Way’s Day of Caring assisting local agencies with repairs, Smith said.

“Moody is so giving and so involved. They know how to work,” he said. “The military knows how to get things done and knows how to help and make a difference so if you get them involved, you know it’s going to be done and done well.”

The Air Force base has Emerge Moody, which serves an internal purpose similar to Leadership Moody. It is comprised of junior officers, junior civilians and junior enlisted. 

Jackson said Emerge Moody members visit with organizations within the base to bring back knowledge to their units. 

Leadership Moody has had other educational days aside from Nonprofit Days this year: Leadership in Primary Education with three local schools, Leadership in High School Education at local colleges and Leadership in Industry at multiple companies.

It continues with Leadership in Health Services at various health-care facilities. 

Valdosta Mayor-elect Scott James Matheson spoke with the group during a reception at the United Way office.

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