Auxiliary gives $44,000 in gifts

By Bev Grose, Gift Shop Chairman
From left are two volunteers, Gift Shop Chairman Bev Grose, President Sharon Cross, Commander Paul Hassing, 1st Vice President Judy Ackerman, Minneapolis VA Representative Sandy Gibson, Cathy Newman, Past Treasurer Cathy Radil and MaryLee Seymore. The Gift Shop is a very popular program of the Auxiliary. It provides gifts to veterans in the five veterans homes, and four regional VA medical centers, as well as to eligible loved ones.

The Gift Shops have happened, and all were a great success. The Auxiliary was able to hold most of the gift shops onsite although where COVID outbreaks occurred gift cards were given to the veterans.

The Auxiliary operates gift shops at the five veterans homes and four area VA  medical centers during December. All veterans, spouses and children are eligible for free gifts.

The Gift Shop supplied gifts to 1,426 veterans, 499 spouses/caregivers and 110 children, a total of $44,686.85 in gifts.

Items were purchased from Kohl’s, Walmart, Fleet Farm, Shoe Sensations, Amazon & Russel Stover. Some of the items they could choose from were men’s shaving kits, ski gloves, spa baskets, clutch purses, women’s and men’s wallets, adult and children backpacks, squishmallows, diamond dot kits, candy, men’s and women’s slipper, men’s and women’s watches, jewelry, shawls, blankets, hairbrush sets, women’s hat, neck warmer, glove sets, small games, flannel shirts, men’s and women’s pajama sets, flannel shirts, military hats and gift cards.

Thank you to all who helped at the gift shops and to all the units that donated.

In the background, volunteers prepare for the 2023 Gift Shop at the Sioux Falls VA Medical Center. In the foreground are Sioux Falls Representative Jan Benson and Gift Shop Committee member Sandy Wersal.