Veterans in nursing homes being blessed with gifts for Christmas


Spirits will be brightened for veterans in several local nursing homes this year through the charitable gifts that are donated to the Greybull Elks Lodge.

The annual tradition allows veterans who reside in the Wyoming Retirement Center, Bonnie Bluejacket Memorial Nursing Home and the Sheridan VA to be adopted and given gifts. The gifts include socks, candy, toiletry items, T-shirts in different sizes and books that are either new or gently used.

A difference this year is the fact that the Burlington Elementary student council is participating for the first time. 

Elementary teacher Carol Powers had received the name of a veteran from Gretchen Gasvoda. Gasvoda has helped with facilitating this annual tradition for around six years. 

Powers asked Gasvoda if there was more that the kids could do. According to Powers, some of the veterans don’t get anything. Gasvoda directed Powers to get some of the basic items.

The students have been gathering the items and the drive for them will end on Dec. 4. Gasvoda then will make a run to Burlington to pick up the items to distribute to the veterans. 

Powers said Gasvoda does a great job making sure veterans get gifts for Christmas. 

“Kudos to her,” she added.

Gasvoda said she thinks it’s great that Burlington is participating. She added that Powers is an example of giving. 

Gasvoda also remarked on how Burlington has always supported veterans and was happy that they were keeping the tradition going.

She reported that all the local veterans were adopted right away this year. Gasvoda said they also are giving to veterans in the Sheridan VA.

Along with the gifts, a partnership occurred with the Greybull Elks and Big Horn County 4-H. Gasvoda wrote up a grant and was able to obtain kits where pillowcases can be sewn for veterans. 

Each kit has two pillowcases. Between 120 to 130 pillowcases will be made. Gasvoda said the project will run until all the kits are gone. As of Monday, there were only 15 kits left.