Veterans Day was first celebrated in 1919 after fighting had ceased in World War I on Nov. 11, 1918. The war ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day. In honor of the soldiers, President Wilson set aside this day for an annual national celebration to show America’s appreciation for their sacrifices.
Monday, we will acknowledge the men and women in the military and our veterans who have served their country.
The Friends of Coal Ladies Auxiliary has been offering its services at the Beckley Veterans Hospital since 2008. We began by donating items requested from their wish list for the Treasure Chest. This chest holds gifts for the winners of various games such as bingo, etc. Our volunteers continue to keep this chest stocked for the weekly game day.
The social area is also decorated in the theme of their choice. Now the veterans not only have a new flat-screen TV to watch wildlife shows, but they can enjoy the framed artwork of hunting and fishing as well. To make the residents more comfortable with their stay, we were able to install Internet access on the fourth floor. This was financed by the generous donations from community members and local business to our “Giving Hearts” project.
The vets are now able to communicate with loved ones near and far.
This year for Veterans Appreciation Day in February, the Friends of Coal Ladies were accompanied to the Beckley Veterans Hospital by members of the Miners League baseball team. With the help of their mascot “Mike the Miner” and our volunteers, we provided snacks, giveaways and money books for the veterans to purchase items in their store.
We have continued to decorate the hallways on all floors with the theme chosen by the residents. These themes consist of NFL-donated photos and jerseys which we frame and display on the hallway walls. Other floors are decorated with photos and memorabilia of state colleges and local sports teams.
The veterans’ faces light up when pointing out a grandchild or neighbor in a photo and you know it was worth it all.
Did you know that in 1636 the Pilgrims of the Plymouth Colony passed a law that disabled soldiers would be supported by the colony? Today most people can’t totally support a disabled veteran, but we can offer our services in other ways.
If you have thought about offering a helping hand to the veterans and didn’t know where to start, come and join us. The Friends of Coal Ladies Auxiliary has many projects that may interest you, such as Giving Hearts, Veterans and Coal in the Classroom.
For additional information visit our website, www.friendsofcoalladies.com, call 304-255-1457 ext. 20 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Make plans to attend our meeting at 6 p.m. Nov. 21 at 144 Whitestick St., Mabscott. We will be boxing food supplies for our Giving Hearts project. There is no membership fee.
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