Legion Family brings Valentine’s Day to local senior citizens
(David Mills Jr. Facebook photo)

Legion Family brings Valentine’s Day to local senior citizens

Pelion American Legion Post 101 in South Carolina has only been in existence for seven years. It doesn’t have a building. Yet in those seven years, the post has become a strong presence in the community for a simple reason: its American Legion Family members get out in the community.

That includes organizing an annual Breakfast with Santa; delivering shoes, comforters, backpacks and other items to a transitional homeless facility; attending local government and civic organization meetings; and, most recently, making sure those in a local assisted living facility or unable to leave their own homes weren’t forgotten on Valentine’s Day.

Members of Post 101’s Legion Family delivered Valentine’s Day gifts, cards and food to the residents of Highlands Senior Living – Rapha in nearby Gaston, as well as to shut-ins within the community. It was similar to their effort at Christmas, when they delivered stockings filled with goodies to the same group of senior citizens.

“You can’t just go in there and do for the veterans (on Valentine’s Day),” said David Mills Jr., a Paid-Up-For-Life member and current commander of Post 101, the American Legion Riders Chapter 101 director, Sons of The American Legion Squadron 101 adjutant and South Carolina’s District 20 commander. “Veterans Day is a different story. But with Valentine’s Day, they have 63 residents there, and we’re going to shower all of them with gifts.”

Post 101’s members previously have provided Quilts of Valor to the residents living at the assisted living facility. This week, they joined with local Girl Scout troops and other community members to deliver the Valentine’s Day items.

Mills said when the post conducts efforts like this, it’s important to include others in the community – and to continue to cultivate those relationships.

“We’re entwined with our town,” he said. “We go to the town hall meetings. We do (other organization’s) meetings. The town supports us, and we have a great little town.

“If you don’t go to the town hall meeting, or if you don’t go to the events that the women’s club puts on and other events … if you’re not involved with your community, then how do you get people to come and do things?”

Mills said that everything done within Post 101 is done as a Legion Family unit. Post 101 was chartered in 2016, while its Auxiliary Unit, Sons of The American Legion squadron and American Legion Riders chapter all followed in 2017.

All of the entities conduct their meetings on the same day as the others to strengthen the bond among the family. Mills pointed to Chapter 101’s Riders as another example of how the Legion Family works together successfully. The post was able to donate $6,500 to The American Legion Legacy Scholarship Fund in 2022; Mills credited Chapter 101’s outreach in the community as the reason for being able to make such a donation.  

“If you’re not out there being visual within your community and helping them do their thing, then how can you expect them to come to yours?” Mills said. “It’s our outreach in the community that allows us to support our Boys State, our Girls State, our law cadet program. If you’re not out there being involved in your community, how can you ask them to be involved with you?”