Maine Veterans’ Home residents and staff donated toward the Iraq stocking project. From left standing are Peter Kilgore, activities aide; Lesley Dean, Daughters of Union Veterans member; and Roberta Curtis, staff member; seated, residents Norman Dock and Jim Denholm; backs to the camera, Howard Stockwell and Myron Pierce.

Vets’ home aids Iraq project

PARIS – The residential care unit at Maine Veterans’ Home in South Paris may be small in size, but the 28 residents living there have been busy all year with fundraisers to support a wide range of activities, inside and outside the facility.

When asked by activities aide Peter Kilgore what they would like to do to celebrate the holidays, many said they feel fortunate to have so much given to them through donations and volunteer services in the home. “It’s time to give something back to the community” was the common response.

Several residents had read about Lesley Dean’s project to send Christmas stockings to Maine soldiers stationed in Iraq through the local chapter of the Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War. It seemed like a perfect way to “give something back,” and residents voted to donate $300 to the project.

Dean, known as the “desert stocking chairwoman,” visited the unit recently and thanked the residents for their generosity. She talked to them about the project and told about some of the items that would be sent to almost 500 soldiers.

Additionally, staff on the unit became interested, and decided to donate half of their funds, which had been allotted to each department for their own holiday party.

Kilgore said, “This project has sent our Christmas spirit into high gear! It’s a great feeling to know that we, as a group, can help out those away from their homes and families during the holiday season.”

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