A robust art and recreation therapy program is an important part of an effective treatment regimen at Veterans Administration (VA) hospitals. The art and recreation therapy program at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) VA Hospital in Montrose, N.Y., recently received a much-needed boost by the Legionnaires of Rockland County, N.Y. The Legionnaires of Rockland County, located in the lower Hudson River Valley portion of New York, generously answered the call to help fellow veterans after hearing the hospital needed hobby-supply donations.
The January 2021 hobby supply drive, organized by John M. Perry Post 1044 in Sparkill, N.Y., raised $1,750 worth of new supplies to replenish the art and recreation program materials used at the FDR VA Hospital. Three chock-full tables of donations included velvet art posters, adult coloring books, colored markers & pens, colored pencils, crayons, paint and brushes, glue sticks, glitter glue, board games, jigsaw puzzles, crossword & word-find books, and wooden & plastic model kits.
Advance word of the drive was spread via a flyer, Facebook postings, and with the help of Legion posts throughout the county. The John M. Perry post ‘seeded’ the drive with $320 worth of hobby purchases. But the tables rapidly filled with donations from members/Legion posts throughout Rockland County. The county Legion donors included Rockland County Commander Pat Casper, Leo Laders Post 130 in Thiells, and Carl A. Schelin Post 1271 in Tappan, to name a few.
The drive was also well supported by members of the community. One local youth, whose mother runs a veteran’s charity called Vetiquette (www.Vetiquette.org), even took the initiative of organizing his own mini-drive within his high school. This resulted in a very large tote stuffed with donations from the high school students.
Dave Mart, the commander of John M. Perry Post 1044, who led the hobby-drive effort, was extremely pleased with the results. This was the first time the post had tried running a hobby-supply drive. And based on the results it won’t be the last time. The drive’s success once again affirmed the generosity and commitment the American Legion Family, and members of our local communities, have for our country’s veterans. The John M. Perry post has run many successful drives during the COVID-19 pandemic, and will continue to do so as one way to address the needs within Rockland County and the nearby VA hospitals.