SAL Squadron 105 began what is being called their “Season of Giving” in the beginning of November this year. From handing out checks to local charities that operate out of Belleville, to donations to national veterans as well as children and youth organizations, to hosting a huge all-out toy and clothes drive, and ending with an annual raffle supporting the Fisher House Foundation, the Sons are doing their very best to spread the spirit of the holidays to our veterans and kids.
Planning for the first donation began in September, when the squadron adopted Gail’s Angels as the foundation to donate to. Gail’s Angels is a Belleville-based nonprofit dedicated to providing support to families that have a mom with breast cancer who also cares for an autistic or special-needs child.
With donations above and beyond the funds raised made by the squadron itself, plus the post and its new Auxiliary unit, a total of $2,273 was dropped off with the ‘big check’ to James Babai, president of Gail’s Angels and owner of Essex Cigar Lounge on Washington Avenue in Belleville.
“Your love and generosity will help our special families achieve the same dreams and desires we all share ... the people from 105 feel like family," stated Babai.
At the following general meeting in November, the “Season of Giving” continued with the membership making $250 donations to the Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA), and the American Legion Children’s Welfare Foundation (CWF), and Operation Comfort Warriors (OCW). In supporting two of the pillars of The American Legion, SAL 105 chose those three organizations to highlight their commitment to our vets and kids.
Keeping the “Season of Giving” going, the SAL and Legion Family at 105 are managing a toy and clothing drive, with the date to give things out being set for Thursday, Dec. 14. Using funds raised at their “Christmas in July” event, around $4,000 of toys and clothes have been ordered, with the goal of handing everything out on the 14th.
Rounding out our plans, we will be running a raffle to benefit the Fisher House Foundation, as we have for the past four years, giving them $6,000 to date.
So, when we are seen in our uniforms shaking cans and collecting money over the week of Veterans Day every year at the ShopRite, all of the above is just one small part of how what we collect goes to doing good things - in every way a testament to our generous community.