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The Hot Springs Middle School Student Council contributed $400 to the American Legion Post 71 family Veterans Holiday Relief Drive. American Legion Post 71 fmaily members present to receive the donation included Don Ackerman Sr., Ed Harvey, Jane Benzel, Barb Walter, Carol Harvey, Kim Geer and Jeanie Harper (accepting check).

The Hot Springs Middle School Student Council embraced the holiday spirit recently, gifting $400 to the Veterans’ Holiday Relief Fund.

The Veterans’ Holiday Relief Drive promotes the Buddy Basket Recipe, a National American Legion Auxiliary initiative to aid homeless veterans as they are placed in transitional or permanent housing. In addition, the project incorporates the Buddy Bag Recipe and a service-learning program for various age groups and classroom schedules, all to raise awareness in a commitment to service and improve the betterment of life for those who fought for our fundamental freedom. The American Legion Post 71 family of Hot Springs has sponsored the VHRD for six years. The Hot Springs School District has participated on many levels for the past four years.

The Holiday Relief Drive, which benefits homeless and at-risk veterans and military families, runs through Jan. 31, 2018.

While this statewide relief drive focuses on providing a comfortable holiday season and New Year to our veterans, military members, and their families, donations are accepted year-round.

Recipe items can be substituted, as well as the containers, i.e., bags, boxes, pillowcases, and backpacks; and individual items, i.e., laundry detergent, blankets, etc. and monetary donations are welcome.

Buddy Baskets and Buddy Bags filled with essential household or personal care items; and homemade or single items are collected at the Hot Springs drop-off location: American Legion Post 71 1045 Jennings Avenue. Monetary contributions or shopping gift cards may be mailed to: American Legion Auxiliary Unit 71 Attn: VHRD % Jane Benzel 27949 Horsecamp Road Hot Springs, SD 57747.

Buddy Basket Home-Warming Welcome Recipe: Assemble a Laundry Basket/Waste Basket filled with: Paper Towels, Laundry Detergent, Household Cleansers, Rubber Gloves, Cleaning Sponges, Dust Pan w/Hand Brush, Light Bulbs, Flashlight, Batteries, Alarm Clock, Shower Curtain w/Rings, Bath Towel Set, Bathroom Tissue, Dishes, Eating Utensils, Dish Soap; Dish Towel Set – Frosted with clear wrap, bow, and greeting tag

Buddy Bag Thank A Hero Recipe: Assemble a Bag filled with: Personal Hygiene Products, Hand Towel Set, Shower Shoes or Slippers, Socks, Hat, Scarf and Gloves; Shopping or Salon Gift Card – Sealed with a note or card of appreciation

Substitute, Homemade or Single Essential Items Welcome: Warm Apparel, Small Appliances, Thermos, Bottled Water, Sun Screen, Lip Balm, Bus Passes; Pre-Paid Phones/Cards; Personal Hygiene Product Options: Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Dental Floss, Mouthwash, Shampoo, Conditioner, Bar Soap, Deodorant, Shave Cream, Lotion, Foot Powder; Hair Brush, Comb, Nail Clipper, Nail File, Razor, Sanitizer Wipes, Band-Aids, Tissues; Q-Tips; Bedding: Sleeping Bags, Pillows, Sheet Sets, Blankets, Quilts; etc.

For additional statewide drop-off locations or information, or to register as a participating youth group or school contact: Autumn Simunek via or visit

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