Members of the Tardiff-Belanger American Legion Auxiliary, Unit 39, Madison, front from left are Cindy Savoy, Wanda Kranz, Ann Cody, Merrilyn Vieira, Pauline Bell, Nancy Drew and Betty Price. Back from left are Robin Turek, Amy Washburn, Irma Fluet, Nancy Misiaszek, Harriet Bryant, Shirley Emery and Diane Pinkham. Contributed photo

MADISON — In observance of April as Children and Youth Month, members of the Tardiff-Belanger American Legion Auxiliary, Unit 39, Madison, donated backpacks filled with essential items such as clothes, pajamas, toothpaste, toothbrushes and other toiletries, hats, mittens, hygiene products and toys for children.

Included this year are many socks from the auxiliary’s Drive-Thru Sock Hop which was held in February. These items benefit the children who will enter the Department of Health and Human Services System. Most children enter with nothing more than the clothes on their backs. These backpacks provide them with items they can call their own in hopes that it makes the transition a easier for them.

This year, with the generous donations of items from the membership and the auxiliary purchases, the auxiliary donated more than $800 worth of items, including 25 backpacks.

To learn more about the American Legion Auxiliary’s mission, or to volunteer, donate or join, visit alaforveterans.org or mainelegionpost39.org, or contact Robin Turek, president, American Legion Auxiliary Tardiff-Belanger Unit 39, at P.O. Box 325, Madison, ME 04950, [email protected] or 207-696-8289.