By James Chilton | Wyoming Tribune EagleCHEYENNE – Veterans Day may have come and gone, but for the Ladies Auxiliary at AMVETS Post 10 in Cheyenne, every day is a day worth giving back to our men and women overseas.
On Saturday, the ladies of the auxiliary did just that, spending the afternoon stuffing dozens of red and white Christmas stockings with the comforts of home to send to Wyoming Army and Air National Guard active duty members.
“We have 123 Wyoming troops serving overseas, so we’re stuffing 123 stockings so maybe they can get a smile for Christmas, and it’s our way of saying thank you,” said Peggy Spears, auxiliary president. “We’re fairly new ladies auxiliary, but our support members are awesome and I think we can keep this as a yearly type project.”
Though similar care packages have been put together at AMVETS Post 10 in the past, Spears said the newest iteration of the Ladies Auxiliary has grown swiftly in membership and reach. Though the group itself paid for the stockings and the cost of shipping them, virtually all of their contents came from donations.
“We’ve got shampoos, granola bars, peanuts, deodorant, socks, wipes, toothpaste, nuts, crackers, cookies, beef jerky,” said auxiliary treasurer Jennifer McWaters. “You name it; we’ve got it – everything legal, that is.”
McWaters said the auxiliary put up fliers around the post asking for donations from post members, but they also received donations from outside groups, including the Cheyenne Women’s League.
“We had an abundance of donations, so our plan is to follow up by taking some of this stuff to the vets at the VA (medical center),” she said.
Spears said due to operational security interests, the ladies don’t know for certain exactly where their donations are being sent. And while their stuffing duties came just one day after Veterans Day, that was more of a coincidence than anything, borne out of the knowledge that the care packages could be traveling clear around the world.
“We’re not allowed to know the destination or even the names of individuals receiving them,” Spears said. “And we have to get these out by Dec. 9 at the latest, but we’re hoping to have them out by next week.”
Though it’s been several years since the ladies auxiliary has had a coordinated care package drive, vice president Joy Reed said she remembers just how much such efforts mean to those serving abroad.
“We did something similar to this about four years ago,” Reed said. “And we received a lot of thank you cards from our troops saying they were so grateful for it.”
“It’s their highlight (of their overseas tours),” Spears added. “Knowing somebody at home is thinking of them, it means so much to them.”
Sunday’s stocking-stuffing is only one small part of the ladies auxiliary’s plans for the coming weeks. In addition to donating to the VAMC, the ladies also plan to assist with a Thanksgiving dinner at Post 10 later this month, followed by Christmas caroling in December.
And while the auxiliary has been enjoying good growth since its new officers took over in June, Spears said they’re always willing to take in new members.
“What I would love to have folks know is we would like to have more people participate in stuff like this,” she said. “If they’d ever like to come down and check out the club, we’d love to show them how awesome this club is.”
Original Source: AMVETS ladies auxiliary in Cheyenne stuffs stocking for troops