Notes from the Department Secretary
As many of you may know or heard, in 2019 (pre-pandemic) the American Legion Auxiliary applied for funds from the ALA Foundation Grants to purchase seating and outdoor equipment for the Palmer Pioneer and Veterans Home. Approximately 35 veterans live here. They relies on the generosity of individuals and organizations in order to fulfill their own mission and to help provide opportunities for their residents.
In February 2020, we were notified that we received the award. It was used for a variety of small seating areas (small benches, chairs, etc), tables and even an umbrella for shade. After many, many months of searching for the right stuff (with the help of their staff), we got the items ordered. Because of the pandemic, many items were not in stock and so it took us a number of months to get things. However, we were successful. The home staff put together furniture, with the help of residents, and it has been used a lot. One of the big success stories is that it allowed for visitors to come see their family members, while allowing for social distancing. This, in turn, helped with the emotional and mental wellbeing for those living in the home.
Because of the pandemic, the home was on lock down and only family members and staff were allowed in the facility. With the lessening of the pandemic, we were finally able to go visit and see what they received and how it was utilized. In July, we made arrangements to come to their ice cream social on a Friday night and do a small dedication ceremony for them. When we arrived, it was a delight to two people just outside the doors sitting around the table and chairs we had purchased for them through the ALA Foundation.
There were nine people present representing the American Legion Auxiliary as well as the staff and residents of the home. Since President Jane Larson had to be out of town, 1st Vice-President Anarene Robinson stepped in to talk a little bit about the Auxiliary. Von Lamm talked about the ALA Foundation and the process of getting the grant. Finally, Department Chaplain Colleen Newman led everyone present in a prayer of dedication.
A special thank you to Celia Conrad (Recreation) and her staff who were involved in selecting the furniture and other items. In addition, a thank you to those who helped emcee the afternoon’s dedication.
Also, we want to thank the folks from Keller-Williams who brought an armload of people to the home one day and did an awesome job painting the pavillion so it looked fresh and clean.
Providing support to our veterans and military, as well as their families is truly a community-wide commitment. It is not something we can do alone. If you get a chance, contact the Palmer Pioneer and Veterans Home (talk to Celia) and make arrangements to see some of the items purchased. They are spread throughout the facility.
Finally a huge thanks to the residents and staff of the Alaska Pioneer and Veterans Home for allowing us the privilege of serving them in this way. What a blessing it was to us!