Friday, December 4, 2009

Veterans get special gifts for family thanks to free shopping

Veterans get special gifts for family thanks to free shopping

By Katie Boer KPIC News Video ROSEBURG, Ore. -- The Christmas season is always about giving, and thanks to the American Legion Auxiliary (ALA), during Christmas Veterans shop for free.

The annual Christmas Gift Shop is put on by the American Legion at the VA auditorium every year to provide assistance to veterans during the holidays.

The shop features a wide assortment of gifts like homemade quilts and afghans, along with clothing and toys that vets can chose from for their families.

For some, it makes all the difference. "So many of them are homeless and so many of them can't afford to buy gifts, let alone mail them, you know, so this is our contribution every year to help them out," said Evelyn Welch of the ALA.

American Legion Representative Jack Skold said, "It gives them something to look forward to, they're going to send gifts home to their family, I think this is what they look forward to."

Each vet gets to choose a gift for each dependent they have, including one for themselves.

American Legion works together for over a year collecting items and soliciting donations before the shop opens every December.

World War II veteran Gerald Devey said, "I think its very nice of them, I couldn't believe it. I was told about this out in the parking lot out there, and I couldn't believe it. I mean, I've been coming here for quite a few years really."

The gift shop has been a holiday tradition through the ALA, and has been going on for 57 years.

Denny Costello, also a veteran, said, "Things are tight you know, and it makes it a little easier, it expands my ability to give gifts. Since Christmas is about giving, its the spirit of Christmas and it helps out on the pocketbook, it really does."

The shop is open Wednesday, and outpatients or inpatients that haven't attended can shop for gifts from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.


What a GREAT thing for this community to do, and to have been doing it for the past 57 years is hat is off to these people

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