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The Holidays at the VFW National Home for Children

The Military Order of the Cootie has been spreading Christmas cheer to the children of the National Home for over 88 years. Early December each year they travel from far and wide to share the holiday spirit at the National Home with Cootie Christmas. Wednesday, the Cooties arrived at the National Home and got right to work, wrapping presents for all of the boys and girls. That night, the Florida Cooties hosted their annual spaghetti dinner at our Guest Lodge where residents and Cooties enjoyed a meal together and did some holiday cookie decorating! Friday evening, members of the VFW Department of Michigan District 8 organized the delivery of presents to the children living on campus. Fire trucks rolled through the neighborhood, transporting Santa and Mrs. Claus from house to house to deliver gifts to the children eagerly waiting. Little faces peeked out of windows and doors and lit up with the innocent joy that only the magic of the holiday season can inspire. As the visitors traveled from house to house with Santa, first timer, Tish Mccullough recalls a moment when she paused outside of one of the homes to observe the unfolding scene through the living room window. “It was so scenic and emotional, like watching a movie,” she said. “It was so special to see these families in their home setting. You could see how much care they put into decorating and making their homes ready for Santa’s arrival.”

Tish is a peer coordinator for the Texas Veterans Commission, and she said, “When I go back home I am going to tell everyone about this event! Everyone should come at least once for the experience.” The fun culminated in a Christmas Party on Saturday. Cooties and resident families gathered at the Community Center for a morning of fun and entertainment, followed by the Florida Picnic in the Snow (lunch). There was a craft sale and magic act, a performance by the Capitol City Chorus, and at noon, the big man himself arrived for a special visit with the children at the party — bearing gifts, of course! Among the Cooties in attendance were Supreme Commander, Dan Kramer, and Supreme President Penny Cacoulidis. To see more pictures from the fire truck delivery check out our Flickr album here. To see pictures from the Christmas Party click here.

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