Many members of The American Legion Family have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in some way. During these unprecedented times, Auxiliary members have adapted to new ways of serving our mission. American Legion Auxiliary Unit 25 in Mohawk, N.Y., began making wellness bags for COVID-positive members.
"The Auxiliary members here at Crowley-Barnum Unit 25 in Mohawk, New York, have donated items to provide free wellness bags to our COVID-positive Legionnaires and Auxiliary members this season,” said Unit 25 member Sandy LeClair. “Every single item inside the wellness bags were donated by an Auxiliary member.”
SERVICE FOR OTHERS: New York Unit 25 members (from left) Nancy Cook, Karen Steele, Becky Sommer, Donna Dekanek, Kathy Moynihan, Lisa Polley, Vanessa Graham, and Sandy LeClair pack wellness bags for COVID-positive members.
The project began when LeClair woke up to the idea of making wellness bags and purchasing pulse oximeters for COVID-positive members. A few hours later, a fellow Auxiliary member called LeClair and asked to borrow her personal pulse oximeter because she was having trouble breathing. This was a sign to LeClair.
“Right away, I texted our unit president and told her — she thought it was a great idea,” said LeClair. “Then we went to our unit meeting and told our members about the pulse oximeters idea and the idea of maybe asking for donations to make wellness bags for our COVID-positive members and they all loved it,” said LeClair.
Everyone stepped up to the plate, including a member of Unit 25 who works for a healthcare supplier and was able to donate large nylon bags to put supplies in. The company also donated notepads, pens, medical information cards, and small bottles of hand sanitizer as a kind gesture. All other items in the wellness bags were donated by Unit 25 Auxiliary members.
Each bag contains a digital thermometer, hand sanitizers, Chapstick, tissues, cough drops, reusable and disposable masks, disposable gloves, disinfecting wipes, a puzzle book, health information card, soup, Jell-O, Emergen-C vitamin packets, as well as a get-well card, and other items.
“Our Auxiliary unit is an amazing group of people,” said LeClair. “I was so stunned by their generosity and how willing and quickly everyone was able to get all these supplies together.”
The unit also ordered 10 pulse oximeters for members of their Legion Family who have difficulty breathing and need to monitor their oxygen levels. After experiencing COVID herself, LeClair emphasizes the importance of pulse oximeters and that monitoring one’s blood oxygen level with a severe case of COVID is vital to ensure timely professional medical treatment.
“The wellness bags are intended to help improve our veterans’ and Auxiliary members’ physical and mental well-being,” said LeClair. “I'm sure that just knowing we are here to support them will help any of their ailments.”