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Answering the call to help

— Submitted photo Leah Maass with American Legion Auxiliary Unit 191 poses with her vehicle that is fully loaded with donations that were delivered to the Iowa Veterans Home recently.

American Legion Auxiliary Unit 191 of Webster City stepped up this summer to help support veterans living at the Iowa Veterans Home in Marshalltown.

The auxiliary received word that due to COVID-19, outside vendors were no longer allowed into the facility, which meant the canteen was closed. Officials with the Veterans Home requeste ddonations to help fulfill the needs of the residents.

Letters were sent out to auxiliary members and items were collected at the September meeting. The home had requested personal toiletries, activity books, puzzles, art supplies and food items that were individually wrapped like candy, nuts, crackers, cookies, donuts and other items. Led by Pat Nokes of Webster City, the auxiliary answered the call.

When Bob and Leal Maass delivered the collection to Marshalltown, it filled two large carts which the staff rolled out to their vehicle.

Officials said the residents are missing their volunteer friends, so staff at the Iowa Veterans Home started promoting their “Phone a Vet” program in which volunteers get matched up with a resident or two to visit on the phone. The program is open to anyone wishing to cheer up a veteran without having to leave home. Contact Kristy, volunteer services at the Iowa Veterans Home, 641-753-4489 to participate.

Auxiliary Unit 191 will be working on its bi-annual military mailing next month. Officials said words of encouragement and thankfulness are sent to all currently serving members of the military who have ties to Hamilton County, and whose names have been submitted to the auxiliary by family members or friends. Anyone wishing to submit names with addresses can mail them to Sheila Johnson, 107 Angela Drive, Webster City, IA 50595.

The next auxilary meeting will be held Monday, Oct. 12. at 6 p.m. in the newly remodeled Legion Building. Women whose father, mother, husband or child has served or is serving is eligible to become a member.

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