Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation: What can your unit and your community do to help homeless veterans?

The opening statement in a March 2016 fact sheet from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs states: “The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has made ending homelessness among veterans a top priority, undertaking an unprecedented campaign to dramatically increase successful outcomes for veterans and their families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.” The goal is to provide shelter to any unsheltered veteran who wants it, to provide quality health care and crisis services, and to prevent homelessness in the future. Since 2010, more than 360,000 veterans and their family members have been housed or prevented from becoming homeless. What can your unit and your community do to help homeless veterans?

Submitted by Diane Duscheck, National Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation Chairman

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Legislative: It’s time for year-end reports and awards

It is hard to believe that it’s “DEADLINE TIME IN AUXILIARY COUNTRY.” The time to start compiling year-end reports and submitting applications for Legislative awards is fast approaching. Year-end reports are due May 15, 2016, and the Legislative awards deadline is June 1, 2016. Click here for easy reference to reporting and award submission guidelines.

Submitted by Karyn Porempski, National Legislative Eastern Division Chairman

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Legislative: Legislators wearing poppies – go!

Many times, we see members of the British parliament wearing poppies, as well as American news anchors. Why not our elected officials? What a wonderful way to get the ALA message out in the public. But how would an ALA member go about approaching the legislator to ask about wearing this symbol on his or her lapel?

Submitted by Susan Svacha, National Legislative Central Division Chairman

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National Security: Share ideas while reporting your impact

A good way to get ideas for the National Security Program is to see what other members have done in the past. Submitting your year-end report is a great way to do this! Read this report to see how you can gather ideas from activities included in the reporting process.

Submitted by Kathy Daudistel, National Security National Chairman

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Poppy: May is poppy month

The Poppy Program was created to raise awareness of the sacrifices made by our veterans. Auxiliary members distribute poppies in our community so our friends and neighbors can express appreciation and provide care for our veterans through the work of ALA members. In addition to the funds we raise to help our veterans, making poppies is therapeutic for veterans, and they can earn a small income for their work. Learn how you can get out into the community during poppy month.

Submitted by Lori Skallerud, National Poppy Chairman

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Children & Youth: Learn about TAPS and how or organization can help

TAPS: The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors is a not-for-profit organization. The American Legion Family collaborates with this worthy program to offer compassionate care to all those grieving the death of a loved one serving in our Armed Forces. Since 1994, TAPS has provided comfort and hope through their national peer support network and connection to grief resources 24/7 at no cost to surviving families and loved ones.

Submitted by Virginia W. Nelsen, National Children & Youth Northwestern Division Chairman

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ALA Girls Nation: Be proactive in your planning, providing information to citizens

Have you started planning your orientation for ALA Girls State citizens who have been selected to attend this upcoming session? Where should you begin? What topics should you cover? How can you and others help spark interest and enthusiasm? As you begin planning your ALA Girls State orientations, remember that these young women are going to have travel-related questions and concerns. However, for some, this may be their first real adventure away from home, so they may not know what questions to ask. Be proactive and ready to provide them with as much information as possible.

Submitted by Carol J. Edwards, ALA Girls Nation Northwestern Division Chairman

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Americanism: Tips on submitting reports by May deadline

Can you believe the 2015-2016 administrative year is almost over? It is time for us to submit an end-of-the-year report on how we promoted patriotism and responsible citizenship under the ALA Americanism Program. Read this report to learn how we sum up the year in Americanism.

Submitted by Carol T. Robinson, National Americanism Vice Chairman

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Education: Go ahead – submit your work for award consideration

What are you waiting for? You know you are doing the work under the Education Program, so why not take credit for all that you do? Be sure to enter your work and claim that Education award for your unit. Don’t be shy about preparing an award entry; it’s easier than you might think to enter. Check out these awards and see if you are eligible.

Submitted by Susan Britton, National Education Chairman

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Auxiliary Emergency Fund: AEF year-end narrative requirements

American Legion Auxiliary National President Sharon Conatser chose the Auxiliary Emergency Fund as her project this year so that members can “Keep the Promise” not only to veterans and military, but to other members in times of financial setbacks. The generosity displayed during Parade of Checks at Washington DC Conference was beyond expectations, and we need to continue this success at all levels. Now is the time for departments and units to begin thinking about year-end reports and sharing their successful, fundraising stories.

Submitted by Toni Gimpel, National Auxiliary Emergency Fund Western Division Chairman

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Constitution & Bylaws: What is a Code of Ethics?

What does a Code of Ethics mean to you? As members of the American Legion Auxiliary, we carry a moral responsibility to represent the organization with dignity, honor and ultimately a high level of ethical and virtuous behavior. As volunteers dedicated to assisting veterans and their families, we are committed to doing what is right and honorable in addition to setting high standards for ourselves in all aspects of our lives. The purpose of this Code is to instill confidence in our members, the greater public, and ultimately those we serve and to provide assurance that our organization recognizes the importance of corporate ethical compliance by its leaders and members.

Submitted by Trish Ward, National Constitution & Bylaws Committee Vice Chairman

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Leadership: Culture of goodwill – how to work together

A successful family shares these characteristics: commitment, appreciation, time together, share responsibility, common interests, service to others, and seeking help. Read this report to learn more about each element.

Submitted by Rani Gray, National Leadership Committee Member

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Membership: Honor women veterans by paying their dues

In 2009, 8 percent of the veteran population in the U.S. were women, which equals 1.5 million. What a wonderful resource to enhance and increase the membership of the American Legion Auxiliary! We need to reach out to these women and share the benefits of belonging to our organization and the best way is by personal contact. The ALA is missing a valuable resource by not inviting women veterans to join us and be a member. Fewer than 800 women veterans are current members of ALA.

Submitted by the National Membership Committee

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Membership: Keep your dues current in support of AEF

Membership in the American Legion Auxiliary is not only about our veterans – it also about YOU.

In recent months, we have seen floods, hurricanes, earthquakes and the like all across the country. These disasters have caused many individuals to be in need of emergency shelter, food or utilities. Your membership in the American Legion Auxiliary gives each of us that option of being able to access the Auxiliary Emergency Fund when there is a disaster. Don’t let your membership lapse; you never know when you too can use some help.

Submitted by Terri Angell, National Membership Western Division Chairman Continue reading