American Legion members share gifts, holiday spirit with veterans in Augusta

Mon, 12/14/2020 - 3:15pm

    CAMDEN — For the second year, War Memorial Post 30 in Camden has taken on the role of playing Santa’s helper to some of the veterans residing in the Maine Veterans Home in Augusta. Post 30 began this program in 2019 by adopting five Veterans. It turned out that the members of the post made this into a successful opportunity to give back to fellow veterans, so in 2020 they upped the ante to seven veterans at the home.

    Legion members either volunteered to adopt a veteran or provide financial help. Other members did the shopping for the items requested by the veterans.

    The veterans had filled out their individual Christmas wish lists with about seven items on each one. The items ranged from t-shirts, gym shorts, DVD’s, magazines, pants, shirts, as well as sundry health and comfort items, especially Old Spice products. 

    We all know how much of a challenge it has been for us on a daily basis with the COVID-19 issues, but unless someone has a family member in a residence type situation, the typical person has no idea what these folks go through on a day-to-day basis. They rely on the wonderful staff in Augusta to help keep them busy and the best way to do this is through crafts. According to Mona Boucher, Activities Director at the Veterans Home, they have gone through a lot more supplies than they normally would.

    Post 30 also took on this challenge and asked members and the community to donate crafting supplies. The response was a pretty decent one said Jeff Sukeforth, Post 30 Adjutant. One community enterprise, the Miller Farm and Engraving business, run by Larry Miller in Rockport, heard about the donations and allowed the post to come over to his business and fill up a large bag with wooden laser cut ornaments.

    “These ornaments were just what the craft closet in Augusta is looking for and these will ensure our veterans are kept busy and entertained” said Sukeforth. “Huge thanks to Larry and his business for his donation this year.”

    Once Santa’s helpers had everything in place, the “wrapping elves” took over and in the dark of the night proceeded to wrap and bag presents for our seven veterans. In all, the post delivered the seven bags for the individual veterans but also dropped off five bags of craft supplies for all the veterans.

    Sukeforth made the delivery to the Veterans home on Dec.10. With the COVID restrictions in place, he dropped the bags inside the front doors on a table, and when done, waved to the folks inside. Staff took care of everything from there.

    It is the hope of Legion Post 30 that 2021 finds them able to again be more instrumental in their community efforts, but they will again ensure that a number of veterans in Augusta receive the help of “Santa’s helpers” next year during the holidays.

    At Christmas nears let's keep everyone in our thoughts and prayers, but maybe just a little extra to our veterans who remain shut off from everyone but their excellent caregivers.

    “Post 30 and its members do not do this for the recognition aspect, but do it because it is the right thing to do for our veterans as we one day just may be in the same place,” added Sukeforth.