To the editor:

On behalf of all my fellow Legionnaires of the Capt. Lester S. Wass American Legion Post No. 3, I would like to thank the citizens of Gloucester for their generous and enthusiastic support for our 2019 Thanksgiving Holiday Dinner.

Your support was overwhelming. Because of this support we were able to serve or deliver more than 500 meals to elderly, less fortunate and shut-ins on Thanksgiving Day, a sharp increase over last year. The thanks and gratitude that our deliverers received from the recipients made it all worthwhile. They helped sustain our mission that no one should be alone or not have a hot meal on a holiday. These unselfish actions by both my fellow Legionnaires as well as the citizens of Gloucester reminded me that Gloucester takes care of its own, and for that I thank you.

We were overwhelmed this Thanksgiving by the number of volunteers who wanted to help and sadly, we had to turn some away. It is a bittersweet moment when so many individuals want to help those who are less fortunate during this special holiday that we had to say, “thank you, but no thank you.”

I especially want to thank Julie LaFontaine and the Open Door for their support. The American Legion and the Open Door have developed a policy that ensures both families and individuals are not forgotten on this wonderful holiday. I also want to say thank you to City Councilor Jamie O’Hara, Councilor-elect Barry Pett and state Sen. Bruce Tarr for stepping up to the plate to help. And a special shout out to City Councilor Melissa Cox, who has always been there for this post and its veterans. Thank you!

We want to do it again for Christmas. The Capt. Lester S. Wass American Legion Post No. 3 will again be serving and delivering meals on Christmas Day, Wednesday, Dec. 25 -- barely three weeks from now. But we can’t do it alone. We need your help. We greatly appreciate everyone’s generous donations in the past and we ask for any assistance that you can give us during these trying times in the way of a monetary donation. If you prefer, we would gladly accept a donation of holiday foods such as ham, pastries and/or pies, which you can deliver to the post at 8 Washington St. Monday through Saturday from 3 to 7 p.m. If you are donating money to this worthy cause, please make your check out to American Legion, Post No. 3 and mail it to Box 122, Gloucester, Mass., 10931-0122. Please annotate the check “Christmas meals” so we can properly credit it. To schedule a pickup for food, or to inquire about the program, please call (978) 283-9710 or (978) 283-7117 at any time, or leave a message.

We also want to reach out to those who would like to receive a meal on Christmas. It is a privilege and honor to include any veterans in need. They answered our country’s call, often placed themselves in harm’s way, and we can do no less for them. If you want to request a meal, please call the numbers above. All meals are free. The cutoff for requesting a meal is Sunday, Dec. 22 at 6 p.m.

We also welcome anyone who would like to volunteer to cook, pack or serve meals or deliver on Christmas. (Hopefully, we won’t have a blizzard this year.) This is totally a volunteer effort. Even if you have volunteered before, please call the above-listed numbers to re-register to we can make sure that you are included on all scheduled notifications.

Mark L. Nestor

Commander

Capt. Lester S. Wass American Legion Post No. 3

Gloucester

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