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Auxiliary Provides Tireless Support for Bellingham VFW Post 7272

Fifteen volunteers showed up to clean up the outside of a house on Indian Run Rd. VFW Post Commander Kevin Calnan and Auxiliary President Jillian Allsop were among them. Charron Tree Service provided, for free, a large piece of equipment, and you can see operator Dan Ryan in the upper lefthand corner of the photo.

By David Dunbar
Do you know what the VFW Auxiliary is or does? Well, you’re probably not alone, but this group of volunteers does seemingly never-ending work in support of local veterans and the VFW Post in Bellingham.
Jillian Allsop is President of the Auxiliary and says, “We do tons of volunteer work including fund-raising activities that donated more than $10,000 for our VFW in 2023.” 
They run the “Meat Raffles” at the Bellingham VFW Post 7272. They provide scholarships for students at Bellingham High School. And, they donate to veterans’ charities in the area throughout the year including Mission 22, K-9s for Warriors, Veterans Inc., 22 Mohawks, and Operation Standown.
Post Commander Kevin Calnan says, “It is humbling how much work they do… it is a very active and vibrant group… and we are very grateful for their help.”
Last month, the Bellingham VFW Auxiliary brought 15 volunteers to the home of a Bellingham woman who is taking daily treatments for cancer and could not keep up with all the yard work. Her home, on Indian Run Road near Lake Hiawatha, has now been cleared of winter’s debris and completely re-landscaped.
And speaking of Lake Hiawatha, on July 13, Allsop and Auxiliary member Nicole Gassett will bring 40-50 veterans from the Brockton VA to the lake.  VFW members and people from the community help out; residents who live around the lake have volunteered to take the vets fishing.
“I do this to give back,” says Allsop. It started with a visit to the Vietnam Wall in Washington D.C. with her father, who is a veteran of the Vietnam war. “It was the first time I had ever seen him cry. It was a big moment.”
Later, in Bellingham, she became a bartender at the local VFW post. She learned about the Auxiliary, joined it, and in 2015 became its president. “It’s the perfect way to honor my father and other veterans, and give back.”
“I do it because I love giving back to veterans,” explains Auxiliary member Claire Farrell. “I love the VFW, and I’ve met some awesome friends along the way.” She participated last Christmas when the Auxiliary brought Santa and gifts to the Women’s VA Home in Worcester.
Another Auxiliary member, Julie Mendall, says, “It’s gratifying to support our veterans.” And about the work done at the Lake Hiawatha home last month, “the woman who owns the home is so grateful.” Mendall participated in a clothing drive for homeless vets in Worcester and delivered a 26-foot-long box truck filled with clothes donated by Bellingham residents. She also helped with sending cleaning supplies and tools to Florida residents after a recent hurricane. 
To become a member of the Auxiliary, you must have a direct family member who was a veteran of a foreign war. There are currently 53 members. Allsop would welcome you in.
You can find out more by contacting the Bellingham VFW at (508) 883-9538 or emailing to [email protected]  
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