Community Support - VA Black Hills Health Care System
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VA Black Hills Health Care System


Community Support

Americal Legion Auxillary volunteers wrapping gifts

Americal Legion Auxillary volunteers wrap gifts at the 2011 Holiday Gift Shop

By Cheryl Rieniets
Friday, January 6, 2012

Generosity and Holiday Spirit flowed through the halls of the VA Black Hills Health Care System in December. Our Veterans received an outpouring of community support during the holidays.

Area Service Organizations have sponsored a number of events at both campuses to support the Veterans we serve, and other groups have also visited the patients at Fort Meade.

• In November, many American Legion Auxiliary Units from across the state collected gift items. Auxiliary members then set up “shops”, both in Fort Meade and Hot Springs, where inpatients could shop for gifts for their family.  The American Legion Auxiliary even paid the cost to ship all of those gifts off to the recipients!

• The Deadwood VFW Auxiliary did a membership fundraiser and purchased a new refrigerator.  Patients in G-Ward now have a dedicated refrigerator for their personal use.

• The Salvation Army visited and distributed gifts of travel size toiletries.

• The Daughters of the American Revolution put together special holiday gift bags for the female Veterans in the Hot Springs domiciliary.

• The Sturgis Elementary School Student Council sponsored our long term residents in CLC on an Angel Tree.  The students brought in Christmas gifts for each patient.

• The Deadwood Elks brought best wishes and blankets for every inpatient.  They spent time visiting and sharing the spirit of the season with every patient in the hospital.

• The “Shriner’s Santa’s” donned their red suites and visited the CLC, spending time with the residents and handing out snacks and socks.

• The Pierre Elks did a community drive and delivered a truck load of gifts and other items to the Hot Springs facility.

• The Rapid City ROTC youth came and sang Christmas carols for patients.

• The Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary purchased gifts for patients and put on a Christmas party in Fort Meade.  The VFW Auxiliary returned to provide a New Year celebration at the CLC.

• In Hot Springs, holiday parties and gift distributions were hosted by the Nebraska and South Dakota American Legion.

• School children and other organizations sent Christmas cards that were distributed to the Veterans receiving care.  Many were delivered by staff, volunteers, and visitors.  Others were put on meal trays so inpatients would receive them several times throughout the holiday.

We also received a couple of major monetary awards in December. 

• The Bowlers to Vets Link (BVL) sent Fort Meade and Hot Springs checks of $2000 each to provide funding for therapeutic recreational activities.
• The Sturgis Rally Charities Foundation issued a grant of $1000 to provide for needs within the PTSD/PCT program.  The source of the funds is the Sturgis Corporate Sponsorship program and the motorcycle raffle conducted by the Sturgis Chamber of Commerce. 

Voluntary Service wants to thank everyone for their part in making the holidays happy for the Veterans we serve.  We appreciate your continuing support.

These are just a few of the ways the communities of the Black Hills reach out to our Veterans. If you would like to volunteer or make a donation to support the Veterans here at VA Black Hills, please contact Voluntary Services.


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