On Saturday, December 11, 2010, the Department of Veterans Affairs Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships (VA CFBNP) coordinated and joined First Baptist Church of Glenarden's Military Care Ministry (FBCG MCM) and the National Vietnam Veterans Foundation as they participated in the 3rd annual American Legion Auxiliary Holiday Gift Shop at the Department of Veterans Affairs Washington, DC Medical Center.
The Holiday Gift Shop is an annual event where volunteers donate gifts to the Holiday Gift Shop. This annual holiday program provides hospitalized Veterans an opportunity to give gifts to their family members and friends who visit during the holidays. The acts of kindness from volunteers help hospitalized Veterans give gifts to their holiday visitors. The Holiday Gift shop is set-up like a store and Veterans are able to select two gifts for his/her family member or loved one. The gift shop helps hospitalized Veterans to celebrate the holiday season and many say their spirits are lifted as they celebrate the holiday tradition of giving gifts.
The volunteers served the Veterans in a variety of ways:
Over 320 Veterans were served and enjoyed the festive environment.
One resident, Ms Alyce Dixon, who recently celebrated her 103rd birthday was a joy to talk to. While at the gift shop, she tried on a number of gloves, while constantly reminding volunteers "not to mess up her nails" she recently had painted. She shared her recipe for long life, "You gotta enjoy your life, treat people like you want to be treated, and always look good!" That was just one of the many illustrations of the joy that was shared through serving Veterans.
If you would like to comment about this posting or to receive more information, email vafbnp (at) va.gov.
Stephen Dillard is the Deputy Director of the Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs