"Sound Your Sirens and Make the Holidays Wonderful for Our Veterans"
"SOUND YOUR SIRENS AND MAKE THE HOLIDAYS WONDERFUL FOR OUR VETERANS"is my theme for the 2016-2017 year. As part of the VA & R Six Point Program, the Christmas Gift Shop offers opportunity for veterans confined to VA facilities for the holidays to still be a part of the family tradition of giving a gift. The program lets veterans pick a gift for spouses, parents, special friends, and for children up to eighteen years of age. Over 2250 veterans went shopping last year, and a total of 2664 gifts were purchased for the nine facilities involved.
A letter and a revised Christmas list will be mailed to the proper VA representatives this coming week, and I am asking each one to send it back by September 9th. I can’t wait to go shopping - again! I am asking that the representatives don’t overdo the amount of gifts to be ordered. I will also be sending a copy of each facility’s order from last year for comparison. After each Gift Shop is done, any leftover gifts may be purchased by the volunteers at our cost.
Each gift shop will need plenty of volunteers to help the veterans choose a gift, wrap it, and ready it to mail, if needed. District and Division presidents need to "sound your sirens" and get the word out for help. Also, contact your VA Representatives to see if they need wrapping paper, ribbon, tape, mailers, and Christmas cards for the veterans to sign.
HOLIDAY TIME means Easter too. Again, each veteran in a nursing home, hospital, or homebound will receive $3.00 as part of the 5th Point of the Six Point Program. In January, a survey sheet will be published in the ALA TODAY for Unit VA&R Chairmen to fill out and send back to me by March 28th. The VA&R Chairmen are asked to survey all veterans in their area while Hospital and Field Service Representatives will count the State Hospitals and V.A. Medical Centers. Checks and Easter cards will be sent to the unit treasurers in plenty of time to distribute them to our veterans.
As you can see, the fourth and fifth points of the Six Point VA&R Program are very important. I hope that all units will "sound your sirens" and volunteer for and support these wonderful programs.