As of of you may know, for the past few years, we've had a neighborhood grass-roots tradition of taking customized gifts up to the VA Spinal Cord unit at the Palo Alto VA. This year, I'm on anti-biotics for a bit of an ear infection, and the doctor says this is one gift that I cannot take into the VA to share with our vets! So, this year, as I have to step back due due to illness, I am so grateful that the next generation is so kindly and eagerly stepping up. I couldn't be prouder, in fact.
Paly junior Grace Grignon, Paly sophomore Will Goncher, and Menlo School sophomore Eric Luxenberg and several friends have generously decided to carry the banner for the cause this year to thank our veterans. At 10:00am tomorrow, Monday, Nov. 12 they are meeting here at our house, (764 Marion) to caravan up to the VA Hospital, where at 10:30am, they will join VA Recreational Therapist Tom McCarthy to go from room to room, handing out donated gifts to the veterans. Thank you, Grace, Will, Eric and friends!!
If you know of another young person who would like to join in this effort, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you have something you could contribute for the kids to give out? We would greatly appreciate your help in this grassroots effort!
Below is a list of some ideas, but anything you can think of, is okay by us!
1) Decks of cards
3) Giants "World Series" Commemorative magazines
4) Fresh flowers in small vases (Karen at Nature's Alley in mid-town Palo Alto, across from Longs, is eager to help with this effort!)
5) sugarless candy (for Diabetics)
6) home-made cards
7) aviation, fishing, car, sports and other hobby magazines
8) art supplies, colored pencils, pads of drawing paper
9) home-baked cookies, (or store-bought!)
10) Did I mention chocolate?
11) home-made or store-bought cards, saying thank you, in your own words
12) some pens
13) book marks
14) gently-used coffee-table or paper-back books
15) jig-saw puzzles
17) homemade signs or banners that the youth volunteers can hang up to decorate a veteran's hospital room
18) I-tune gift cards for music or movies
19) play dough or stuffed animals--some of the veterans have children or grand-children comThake visit them, and they love to have gifts that they can share with their loved ones
20) salty snacks, like chips or pickles, since not everyone is a "sweets" person
21) a cash donation, that we can use to purchase small items like the ones on this list!
Those are just a few ideas... but what can you think of? Feel free to add to the list, and feel free to drop off anything between now and 9:30am tomorrow, Monday, Nov. 12th at 764 Marion Avenue, just east of Middlefield, and south of Oregon Expressway. There's a drop-off box ready for your much appreciated donations!
Recreational Therapist Tom McCarthy said it would be great if we could come up with enough stuff for 35 veterans in the Spinal Cord unit... but the truth is, there are many, many more veterans who will be spending this Veterans day in our VA hospice and hospital units in Palo Alto and Menlo Park. If it turns out that we get more than we need for the Spinal Cord unit, we'll figure out make more deliveries--and that's a promise!
The main point is that in this case, as in so many other life situations, it's not the specific gift--and it's the thought that counts. The gift provides the opportunity to walk into a hospital room and say thank you. It's the thought--and the action of showing up--that really count. These veterans showed up for our country, time and time again, and tomorrow, with your help, our kids will show up to say thank you.
A big thanks to the VA, and especially to Tom McCarthy, for making this opportunity possible.
And to everyone, sincere thanks, for all you do not just Veterans Day, but every day to help our community. It all adds up and makes a difference!