SPOTSWOOD, NJ - Each year the newly elected commander of the New Jersey Department of the American Legion selects a project for the betterment of the state’s veterans.

Department Commander Mike Wilson’s project is to enhance the quality of life at the state’s veterans homes in Menlo Park and Vineland. His goal is to furnish the Menlo Park home with a new handicapped bus and Hoyer lifts, and the Vineland home with quality of life furnishings to include new computers for their library, outdoor furniture, resident lounge furniture, community billiard tables and new automatic handicap doors.

The project will provide these veterans with equipment and furnishings to keep them active and a vital part of their home communities. The total cost will be approximately $120,000.

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“During the holiday season you are going to have a lot of organizations asking for donations,” said Gary Cooper, public relations chair for the department.  “We urge everyone to use due diligence and know who you are giving your money to and research how much of your donation actually goes to doing what your giving your money for. Around this time of year, a lot of fake charities come out.”

“When you donate to the American Legion, Toys for Tots or your local food bank, you know that 100 percent of your donation is going to support that program, not going into someone’s pocket or for a high salary,” said Wilson. “I don’t get a salary; every penny donated to my project goes to helping our hospitalized veterans in New Jersey.”

“Our veterans homes are near and dear to our hearts,” he added, “which is why all our members and friends are supporting this worthwhile project.

Donations are tax deductible and may be sent to American Legion, Dept. of NJ, ATTN: Commander’s Project, 135 West Hanover St., Trenton, NJ 08618.