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Central Texas Veterans Health Care System

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ALA Gift Shops

December 2, 2013

Volunteers help hospitalized Veterans give gifts

Thanks to the hard work and fund raising efforts of hundreds of American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) women, hospitalized Veterans at the Central Texas Veterans Health Care System Medical Centers in Temple and Waco will be able to give gifts to their families and loved ones this Christmas through two ALA Gifts Shops set for this week.

“At the annual ALA gift shop, our hospitalized Veterans don’t need to bring cash or credit cards to shop for a gift for their loved one,” said Sallie A. Houser-Hanfelder, FACHE, Director of the Central Texas Veterans Health Care System.  “Because of the hard work of ALA members all year, our hospitalized Veterans get the opportunity to select gifts for their immediate families – their children, spouses, and parents—all free of charge, even the wrapping and postage for shipping.   My thanks go out to all the American Legion Auxiliary members who make this gift shop possible for our Veterans year after year.”

Many hospitalized Veterans either cannot afford to buy presents or have mobility issues preventing them from shopping for presents, but because of the generous donations and fund raising projects held throughout the year by members of the American Legion Auxiliary, these Veterans will be able to give their families presents for Christmas.  “This means a lot to these Veterans who would otherwise be unable to give gifts to their loved ones,” Hanfelder said.

The gift shop works by allowing Veterans to bring their “shopping list” and pick out gifts for their families ranging from toys to clothing, kitchen appliances, jewelry, and much more.  The gifts are then wrapped and mailed--all compliments of dozens of ALA units.  The Veterans do not pay anything for the gifts, wrapping, or shipping.  Throughout the year, women in ALA units across the state of Texas organize fundraisers and raise thousands of dollars just to be able to provide these free gifts for Veterans to send to their families. 

MEDIA: you have two opportunities to cover the story: 

1. Temple – VA Medical Center:  Dec. 3 at 9 a.m. ribbon cutting to open the gift shop in the Domiciliary (Building 202) Recreation Hall at the Olin E. Teague Veterans’ Medical Center, 1901 Veterans Memorial Drive in Temple.
2. Waco – VA Medical Center:  Dec. 4 at 9 a.m. ribbon cutting to open the gift shop in Stracke Auditorium (Building 6) at the Waco VA Medical Center, 4800 Memorial Drive in Waco.

Media are invited to the ribbon cuttings and openings of both gift shops and will be able to talk with Veterans and American Legion Auxiliary members.  Please call if you wish to cover the story:  (254) 743-2376.  The ALA Gifts shops will go throughout the day, but media are encouraged to attend the ribbon cutting or call to arrange an alternate time.