Submitted by Megan Ehrmantraut for OCRC
With Veterans Day celebrated across our nation on Nov. 11, our country gives thanks to veterans who honorably served their country. The month of November is a time to acknowledge the tremendous sacrifices our veterans and military families have made.
Orcas Island’s longtime American Legion post #93 serves veterans all year long. As America’s largest veterans service organization, they work every day to uphold time-honored values. Post members are veterans who have served in the military during certain military action periods. The Legion’s mission is to “enhance the well-being of America’s veterans, their families, our military, and our communities by their devotion to mutual helpfulness”.
The Orcas Community Resource Center is grateful for our partnership with our local Sons of the American Legion unit. Their members include men whose parents or grandparents served in the U.S. military and were eligible to belong to an American Legion post. Together with their support, 85 children from walking age to 12th grade, were provided with shoes through the annual SOAL Shoe Program this fall. During the program period, OCRC collects applications from families and shoes are purchased by staff with SOAL funding. If it weren’t for SOAL, many children wouldn’t have new sneakers or rainboots for the school year. SOAL generosity makes a difference for island families in need as expenses often mount during back-to-school time. OCRC Programs Director, Jana Webb, said, “You should see the big smiles on the kids’ faces when they come in and see their shoes! They want to put them on before they walk out of the office!”
The American Legion Auxiliary unit, consists of family members of American Legion members. Their mission is to “support the American Legion and to honor those who serve by enhancing the lives of veterans, military, and their families”. OCRC has been working in partnership with the Auxiliary for over 2 years assisting veterans with meals, holiday meals, holiday Island Market gift cards, and more. We are grateful to the Auxiliary for their heartfelt preparation of monthly meals for OCRC veteran clients. What began with serving 12 client meals, has grown to 30 meals each month. Veterans appreciate being remembered for their service and look forward to hot, homemade meals prepared in their honor.
One OCRC client shared, “I appreciate the care and attention the American Legion Auxiliary members give to the veterans’ monthly hot meal program coordinated through the Orcas Community Resource Center. It is important to know that veterans are acknowledged for their service.”
We encourage the community to participate in Legion fundraisers throughout the year. These events provide the necessary funding to carry out veteran programs. The American Legion Post #93, Auxiliary Unit #93 and Sons of the American Legion Squadron #93 invite you to become a member. For more information on making a difference in our community through American Legion membership, please call 360-376-4987. To learn more about the Orcas Community Resource Center please visit www.orcascrc.org.