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Legion group to bring Christmas to those in need

December 4, 2018
By CHUCK?BALLARO ( , North Fort Myers Neighbor

For the last five years, a group from the American Legion Post 336 Ladies Auxiliary has helped those without permanent residence in North Fort Myers by washing their clothes at the North Fort Myers Laundromat on Pondella Road.

That same group is now planning to take things a step further by providing Christmas presents for those who are homeless.

Those gifts will be given away Thursday at the laundromat between 8:30 and 9 a.m., which is about the time the group starts doing laundry.

Diann Dircz, who has run the laundry program, said a group of women from the auxiliary used to meet at Six Lakes Country Club off Littleton Road and exchange gifts.

"Instead of doing that this year, they're giving gifts to the homeless and they're going to give them away on Thursday," Dircz said. "They call themselves the Ya-Ya Girls."

Dircz had those in need fill out a questionnaire to learn their clothing sizes for socks, underwear and shirts. They will also give them blankets and pillows to help them keep warm this winter, since many of them live in the woods.

Scheduling the gifts giving on laundry days will make things much easier, Dircz said.

"They can get there at 8 to have their laundry done and can receive their gifts while they wait," Dircz said. "We also bake for them so they have their coffee and donuts."

The group, which calls itself "Project Suds" has been doing its Laundry for the Homeless program since 2013, after Dircz learned about a similar program in Melbourne.

With the help of other veterans, those without homes themselves and the laundromat staff, the auxiliary is able to get clean clothes to those who are homeless.

Laundry for the Homeless is always looking for donations. They have been fortunate in that whenever they start falling short on money, there has always been someone to help.

For more information, call Dircz at 229-2570.



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