American Legion Collecting New Hats, Gloves for Local Children

By DENISE HERSCHEL

With the cold weather now upon us, there are many in the local community who are in need of warm apparel during the fall and winter months. Since 2016 the American Legion Auxiliary, Unit 346, has been sponsoring the “Share the Warmth” drive asking their members to collect new hats, gloves, and scarves for children in need. Now in their drive’s fourth year, they have added pajamas to their wish list.

“We began this drive four years ago. Margie Magathan, who is the Unit’s Community Service Chair, and myself had the idea and asked our members about collecting new items for children in need. Our members loved the idea!. Our legion family, along with friends and community members, are always so generous in their donations ,” said Bette Jo Fariello, Membership Chair for Unit 346 and Past Unit President.

The “Share the Warmth” drive, which is taking place now through Dec. 15, is for those in sizes infants to teens with only new hats, scarves, gloves and pajamas being accepted.

“Margie and I wanted to do something for the community and we decided as part of our community service, this would be one of our projects. All of our collected items are donated to the Madonna House in Neptune. We have been working with them over the years during our donation drives. It is so well-received by the Madonna House. They really appreciate it and everything is going to the right people who need it in the community,” she added.

Approximately $500 in apparel has already been donated.

“Last year we were able to collect over $800 worth of items thanks to the donations we received,” she said. “We deliver everything to the Madonna House right after Dec. 15. Everything is donated by Christmas time.”

Fariello said that a friend of the Auxiliary knits hats for babies and donates many of her creations to the drive as well.

“This drive helps the community because it shows that people care. We believe it brings happiness to a family with children. I know my children never went without and I remember I was always appreciative as a kid when I got a new pair of pajamas,” she said.

For those interested in donating to the “Share the Warmth” drive now through December 15, items can be dropped off to the American Legion, Post 346, 21 Gully Road in Neptune, at the post lounge between 4pm and 8pm. For more information contact the Legion at ala346neptune@aol.com or call 732-681-9435 and leave a message.

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