GALION — Members of Galion American Legion Scarbrough Post 243 is joining with hundreds of other American Legion posts to help make this Christmas memorable for hospitalized veterans. They are doing it by collecting funds for the annual American Legion of Ohio “Gifts for the Yanks who Gave” program.
The Ohio American Legion is pooling funds from posts for gifts and activities that benefit veterans in Ohio’s state hospitals, Veterans Administration Medical Centers, out-patient clinics and the Ohio Veterans Home in Sandusky.
The program is the same is the one initiated by comedian Eddie Cantor. During World War II, Cantor started a fundraising effort to provide Christmas gifts for American Military Personnel hospitalized in England because of the war. His national project was called “Give to a Yank Who Gave,” which precedes the program now named “Gifts for Yanks.”
“This effort is not limited to members of the legion” said local commander Michael Mateer. “We welcome contributions from individuals and business establishments to help finance the statewide program annually that costs about $250,000. Checks may be made payable to “Gifts for Yanks” and sent to local chairman Donald Rinehart at P.O. Box 788, Galion OH 44833.”
The Ohio American Legion also is contributing to each of the five gift shops operated by the Veterans Administration Hospitals. At those gift shops, patients may select gifts to send to their families. Also, the Ohio American Legion contributes nearly $20,000 for the purchase of canteen books for Veterans Administration patients.
Televisions, radios and other electronic equipment for the Veterans Administration hospitals and the Ohio Veterans Home also are being provided again this year from the program funds.
The fund also will spend more than $1 million on programs — other than Christmas activities — for Veterans Administration and state hospital patients, as well as provide year-round recreation opportunities.