VA Holiday Gift Shop

Friday morning, I spend time down at the VA, volunteering at the annual Holiday Gift Shop, which is set up and provided by all the Auxiliary Units of the American Legion, here in the Tucson area. They set up in Building 4, where the big auditorium is, and there are four or five long rows of tables, with gifts of all kinds, from perfumes, jewelry, and men’s toiletries, and wallets, and on and on and on, right up through, hoodies and sweatpants, and jackets, and clothing of all kinds for both men and women, and toys…and cookies and juice and coffee. There are lots of groups of Veterans who make use of the set up. The ambulatory folks, walk down from their wards, and are able to choose gifts for family members who are in other parts of the country, or right here. The ones for out of town relatives are gift wrapped, and then packaged and mailed, for the Veteran, to whomever they want. The ones for family here are gift wrapped as well. Some people take carts filled with gifts, up to the wards to let those who are bedridden, choose gifts, too. And, then, there are also Veterans who are in outpatient programs, or homeless. They come in and choose a gift for themselves and family, as well, and those can also be wrapped, if desired. All the homeless Veterans are able to choose underwear or socks, in addition to a clothing item and gifts for family members. 
It is a great thing, and goes on over several days each early December. Then, when most everyone has come through, they wrap many of what is left, to distribute Christmas Eve and Christmas day, to more Veterans. It is very amazing to see the array of items. They are not used things. They are all new, and chosen thoughtfully, by volunteers from the Aux. Some stores give a good discount, to enable the dollars to go further, especially when they shop for the items on the day after Thanksgiving.


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