With two teenagers at home and dozens more in the high school classes she teaches, Shirlee Friars devotes much of her time to children. And she has a special place in her heart for the kids here at the VFW National Home for Children.
In fact, as the current President of the VFW Auxiliary Department of New Mexico, she has made the National Home her special project.
Shirlee first got involved with the Home when she served as National Home Chairman for her Auxiliary, she says. “I researched the website and was hooked. I was a 1st Grade teacher at the time, and I love anything that deals with children. When I saw the events at the Home and how it benefitted the children, I knew I wanted to support it."
But it was her first visit that really knocked her socks off. "When I first went to the campus and saw the Home working in action, I was overwhelmed," she said. "It amazed me.”
Shirlee continues, “I only wish the Home was in New Mexico so I could visit it weekly and have a greater impact. I love visiting the little children in the nursery and hearing from alumni. I love to see the children’s pictures and the arts and crafts they make. And it is so important to continue to raise successful and productive students who will give back to the community when they are adults.” Shirlee is slated to become the NM Grand President next year, and she plans to continue her strong support of the National Home through her year in that role and beyond.
As she says, “The stories I have heard of the military families and the sacrifices they have made, those stories continue to strengthen my mission of supporting the National Home. The fact that these
children have a safe haven to grow like any other child in America is important to me. I absolutely believe in everything the National Home does and will continue my support for years to come.”