First graders at Harrisburg Elementary School spread patriotism through gingerbread men, holly leaves and slightly misspelled seasonal greetings.They have been diligently decorating gift bags and Christmas cards for American veterans.The support from the six- and seven-year-olds helps the Harrisburg American Legion Post and Auxiliary No. 523 as part of the Veterans Christmas project. Included in today’s paper, you’ll find the Charlotte Observer’s annual Giving Guide, a listing of local nonprofits. Behind these groups you’ll find many of your neighbors and friends who are feeding the hungry, caring for the sick, rescuing stray or unwanted animals, and providing other services. This listing includes a brief description of what each organization does, their contact information and how you can help. Whatever your passion, you’re sure to find a way you can volunteer to make life a little better for a person, or an animal, in need. The American Legion Auxiliary, founded in 1919, is the world’s largest women’s patriotic service organization. For the seventh year, the Harrisburg unit has distributed gift bags to patients of local nursing homes as well as the VA Medical Center and North Carolina State Veterans Nursing Home in Salisbury.In the spirit of service, the mission of the American Legion Auxiliary is to support the American Legion and to honor the sacrifice of those who serve by enhancing the lives of veterans, military, and their families, both at home and abroad.“For God and country, we advocate for veterans, educate our citizens, mentor youth(s), and promote patriotism, good citizenship, peace and security,” said Janice MacLeod, 61, of Harrisburg, who has been a member with the Harrisburg American Legion Auxiliary No. 523 since it was formed eight years ago.The American Legion Auxiliary will begin distributing the 200 decorated gift bags filled with supplies and treats on Dec. 15. Group members are seeking community support of the program. Donation boxes and wish lists have been placed in the following locations through December 8:• Harrisburg town hall/YMCA.• Harrisburg’s Hometown Pharmacy (5006 S. N.C. 49).• Lowe’s Foods.• Louis’ Grille (5062 N.C. 49 South).• Trademark Sports Cards (4951 S. N.C. 49).• Giant Genie Pharmacy (4310 Physicians Blvd.).The American Legion Auxiliary welcomes donations of toothbrushes and toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant, body lotion, baby oil lotion or gel, lip balm or ChapStick, body wash, crossword puzzle books, sugar-free chewing gum and sugar-free candy. Tax-deductible monetary donations are accepted year-round and can be made payable to the American Legion Auxiliary No. 523 and mailed to 8268 Ferrell Place, Harrisburg, N.C. 28075.The American Legion is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization whose success depends entirely on active membership, participation and volunteerism.Women are eligible for membership in the auxiliary if they are a veteran who served honorably or if they are related to a veteran through eligibility criteria. Contact Janice MacLeod for further information or visit www.post523.com/Auxiliary.htm.“I have a deep appreciation for the freedoms we enjoy as Americans, and those freedoms have been obtained and preserved by the men and women who have served in our military, MacLeod said. “I feel the need to honor their service – to try and repay some of them for their service and sacrifice. And I want our citizens to also share that appreciation. At that same time, our citizens, particularly our children, should be aware of our veterans’ service, flag etiquette and good citizenship – Americanism.”
Friday, Nov. 23, 2012
Legion post, auxiliary focuses on veterans this holiday season
Elementary students chip in to help bring cheer
From left, Novalene Fero, Mark D'Amore, Carol Mathis, Kaylee Hord, Robert MacLeod and Leo Bollinger prepared gift bags for veterans in 2011. The Harrisburg American Legion Auxiliary will begin distributing this year’s 200 gift bags December 8.
Harrisburg American Legion Auxiliary members along with Post members collect goods for their annual Christmas Project. 200 gift bags will be distributed to veterans in assisted living facilities and hospitals in the area.
Ken Young, a resident of the State Veterans Retirement Home in Salisbury, enjoyed his 2011 gift bag from the Harrisburg American Legion Auxiliary Christmas project. The bags were decorated by first-graders at Harrisburg Elementary School.
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