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My father is one of the most giving people I have ever met.  He volunteers his time at church, to his neighbors, to his family and friends.  He is also very involved with the American Legion in the town where he grew up, Lodi, NJ.  He spends every Thursday there, and gives a significant amount of his time to the running of the post, and has for as long as I can remember.  

In December of 2005, the attic of the American Legion caught fire while undergoing renovations.  The building was ultimately destroyed.  My father was devastated, as were the other legionnaires that are involved with the post.  Unfortunately for them, they were under-insured.  I've watched these dedicated men and women work their hearts out for the last 4 years trying to get this post rebuilt, overcoming hurtle after hurtle, which brings me to the purpose of this diary.

Every year I struggle with what to get my father for Christmas, and every year I feel I fall short.  The gifts are just objects, and while my father loves anything we give him, I never feel that it goes far enough. As I was thinking about what to do about that, my father was talking about all the work they still have to do to get the Legion rebuilt, and how much more they needed (over $150,000).  He's never given up hope during all these years, and I thought how wonderful it would be if I could give him his Christmas miracle this year.  Remind him that good deeds do indeed get rewarded, and faith is the greatest tool we have.

I could go into stories of what a special place this Legion is to my whole family, not just my dad.  How this is where we would spend every Memorial Day, and how this is where my wedding shower was held, and our family Christmas parties too.  How it breaks my heart to see my dad becoming more jaded, when he has one of the most open hearts I've ever seen, but that's really not the point of the diary.

My diary is about asking the DailyKOS community to help me give my father a gift that he will never forget.  I don't need him to know where the funds came from (or at least not that I asked for them), I just want to see the look of joy on his face when the money is there for them to finish the work and open the doors once more.  I want to see how happy he is when they have their first pancake breakfast, or more importantly, induct their first new Commander into the Post in the new building, and I want to know that I helped do that for him, with your help!

Donations can be sent to:

American Legion Post 136, P.O. Box 36, Lodi, NJ 07644

Originally posted to Pa Mom on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 12:29 PM PST.

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