EFFINGHAM CO., GA (WTOC) - For the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 209, their special moment arrived with their special guest.
"We," said Unit 209 President Thelma Pierce, "have never had a national president come to this part of the state before."
They had one at their luncheon Friday, as Mary Davis traveled to Effingham County to recognize the ladies' auxiliary for the work they did once again at Christmastime.
Every year, Unit 209 brings gifts to the veterans' hospital in Augusta to help ensure the former soldiers have a complete Christmas experience.
"We have to stock the gift shop," said Pierce. "At Christmas time veterans in the hospital can go in and shop for gifts at no cost to them for them and their family members."
The Effingham Ladies Auxiliary does that every year and this year provided more than $7,000 worth of gifts to the veterans' hospital.
"This year, we got to go through the shop with the patients and help them wrap presents and that was amazing," said Pierce. "For them to know people are caring about them really means a lot to them. And it means a lot to us. That's what we're here for, to support veterans in any way we can."
Friday, the ladies of Unit 209 received recognition for their kindness from the very top of their organization.
But that's not why they do what they do at Christmas every year.
"It means an awful lot," said Pierce. "These men and women fought for us to have the freedoms that we have."