By MADDY VITALE
Veterans have given so much to protect the lives of so many, so it is only fitting to do something to show them how respected, honored and appreciated they truly are.
To do that, the VFW Post 1963 in Sea Isle City is holding its annual holiday gift drive as a gesture to veterans to thank them for their duty and bravery to their country.
On Dec. 9, post members and Post 1963 Auxiliary members are taking their “Christmas Caravan” on the road to spread some holiday cheer at the New Jersey Veterans Memorial Home in Vineland.
“We are proud and honored to be able to give something back to our veterans who have given us our freedoms,” VFW Auxiliary President Patti Lloyd said Sunday.
Lloyd noted that the gift drive is being done in conjunction with the VFW post members. The post is headed by Lloyd’s husband, Commander Mark Lloyd.
From now through Dec. 4, the community may donate to the gift drive. Donations can be brought to VFW Post 1963 in person at 301 John F. Kennedy Boulevard.
Patti Lloyd pointed out that it is important to show veterans that they are appreciated not only on the holidays, but at all times of the year.
“Some veterans at Vineland Veterans Home have little or no family. What better way to say thank you for your service to all those veterans than by remembering them during the holiday season?” Lloyd said. “We will do all we can to make them feel special and appreciated.”
The Auxiliary is accepting donations of pre-packaged snacks, arts and crafts supplies, adult coloring books, jigsaw puzzles, comfortable loungewear, bedroom slippers, socks, pajamas, toiletries, batteries and other items.
The Post Auxiliary and post members will deliver the gifts to the veterans home.
The New Jersey Veterans Memorial Home in Vineland is the largest in the area. Approximately 300 veterans live there.
In addition to the gift drive, the Auxiliary was hosting a Veterans Appreciation Dinner at Post 1963 on Sunday night, Lloyd said. Local Boy Scouts were going to be serving homemade food courtesy of the Auxiliary and local Girl Scouts would be serving treats after dinner.
Donations to the gift drive can also be purchased via a special Amazon Account that the Auxiliary has created. To purchase donations via Amazon and have them shipped directly to VFW Post 1963 (301 JFK Boulevard, Sea Isle City, N.J., 08243), go to: https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/14V8FFLD552ID?ref_=wl_share
For more information about this year’s “Christmas Caravan,” email firstname.lastname@example.org.