Chairman Pam Corbin
“SHOPPING FOR GIFTS OF GOLD FOR OUR VETERANS” is my theme for this year. Christmas is the time of year that we want our veterans who are confined to VA facilities for the holidays to be able to give their loved one or ones a gift that we, as the American Legion Auxiliary, provide for them with Point #4 of the 6 Point Program. The program lets our veterans pick a gift for their spouse, parent or special friend, and children up to eighteen years of age. It was reported that last year 1,689 veterans were served at the 9 VA facilities we serve in the state of Illinois with a total over $13,000.00 being spent, plus over $1,000.00 of toys donated by Past President Luella’s unit. I would like to encourage the District and Division Presidents to contact your Districts and Units to ask them to please be generous with their donations to this program. The Finance Committee notified me that this year the Gift cards will be increased to $10.00 instead of $5.00.
I have sent out the Gift Request List to the Reps for each of the facilities with a copy of last year’s list and asked that they return to me by August 18th so I can get busy filling all the needs of the requests. After the Gift Shop is over, the Volunteers may purchase any gifts that are left at the Auxiliary’s cost.
To make the Gift Shops a success they will need lots of volunteers so please encourage your American Legion Family to help. Volunteers will help the veterans shop for their gift and then wrap and get ready to mail. Please check with the VA Hospital Reps to find out if they need donations of gift wrap, ribbon, bows, or tape. The Gift Shop dates will be in the October issue of the ALA Today.
Once the Christmas Gift Shops are done it won’t be long before the Easter Bunny will be delivering “GOLD Easter Gifts” to our Veterans who are in a nursing home, hospital or homebound. The funds for our Easter Gifts come from Point 5 of the 6 Point Program. In the December issue of the ALA TODAY a survey sheet will be published for the Unit VA&R Chairmen to fill out and send back to me by March 1, 2018. Unit VA&R Chairmen are asked to please survey all Veterans in local care centers in your communities. The checks and Easter cards will be sent to the Unit Treasurers and the Unit Chairman must ask her for them. Veterans in the VA Medical Centers and State Hospitals will be counted by Hospital and Field Service Representatives. The Finance committee also notified me that the Easter Gifts will be increased to $4.00 instead of $3.00 starting with Easter of 2018.
I am striving to make “SHOPPING FOR GIFTS OF GOLD FOR OUR VETERANS” a successful year!