Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation: Learn all about festival involvement, grants

The Veterans Creative Arts Festival emphasizes and aids veterans currently being treated in the VA Health Care System of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. VA medical facilities incorporate the creative arts into their recreation therapy programs for the benefit of their enrolled veterans. Volunteer to help out! More…

Should your unit apply for a festival grant? The road to the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival starts at the local VA facility, outpatient clinic, state veterans home, or wherever veterans are served. If your VA facility does not currently host a local Veterans Creative Arts Festival, it may be time to begin. Funding for a local Festival may be available through an American Legion Auxiliary Foundation grant. More…

Submitted by Linda Feezer and Lynne Wild, National Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation Committee Members

Legislative: Know before you go

February is an exciting time for the American Legion Auxiliary’s Legislative Program, and this year is no exception! During Feb. 21-24, representatives from the entire American Legion Family will “storm the Hill” during the Washington DC Conference after hearing about our veterans’ needs and the legislative priorities of The American Legion. The Washington DC Conference provides the tools for all Legion Family members to become better advocates for those we serve – our veterans, servicemembers and their families. As advocates, we are salesmen. We must “sell the message” on the Hill. Educating oneself is the first step! More…

Submitted by Lisa Williamson, National Legislative Chairman

National Security: Military coupon clipping – outdated or useful?

Many ALA units/members spend hours clipping, sorting and packaging coupons to send to military commissaries in order to help military families. As with all things, technology has made life easier for people to save money in retail. Because of this, many commissaries now use electronic coupons and no longer accept the paper variety. Unfortunately, some members have reported that their packages have been returned with notes asking that they no longer send coupons to that particular commissary. Is coupon clipping one of your unit’s/member’s most valued programs? If so, please read these updates before you send your next package. More…

Submitted by Kathy Daudistel, National Security National Chairman

Junior Activities: Make hospitalized veterans’ lives brighter

As members of the world’s largest women’s patriotic service organization, we need to mentor our Junior members so they’ll be here for future generations of veterans. One of the greatest things our Juniors can do is bring cheer to hospitalized veterans during the annual “Salute to Hospitalized Veterans” during the week of Feb. 14. More…

Submitted by Barbara A. Corker, National Junior Activities Vice Chairman

Americanism: Tips and reminders about the 2016 essay contest

It is suggested that unit Americanism chairmen collaborate with local schools to educate faculty on the ALA Americanism Essay Contest and encourage students to participate. Each year, the essay title teaches students about Americanism. More…

Submitted by Carole Baldwin, National Americanism Committee Member

Education: Helping military children with educational opportunities

Children of military servicemen and women make many sacrifices as their parents serve on active duty. Their lives are uprooted, and they are often separated for long periods of time. Finding financial aid can be an added stress. The good news is that in-state tuition is now available in some states for servicemembers’ children who couldn’t get these lower rates before, and a once-a-year travel benefit is available for some students with military parents assigned outside the continental United States. More…

Submitted by Ann Rehbein, National Education Committee Vice Chairman

AEF: Fundraising success stories based on Plan of Action suggestions

Members helping members – isn’t that a great concept? The Auxiliary Emergency Fund does exactly that. There have been so many devastating acts of nature in our country recently from floods, blizzards and fires that have impacted many of our Auxiliary members. Many departments and units used ideas from the AEF Plan of Action to raise money, and others used their own creative concepts. Read about these great ideas in the full report. More…

Submitted by Regina Whipple, National Auxiliary Emergency Fund Northwestern Division Chairman

Constitution & Bylaws: Correction to last month’s eBulletin

In January’s eBulletin, we talked about the definition of a member in good standing. The last paragraph talked about the steps that take place after a new applicant submits a membership application. We mistakenly stated that the applicant is to be voted into the unit by the membership. More…

Submitted by Cathi Taylor, National Constitution & Bylaws Program Coordinator

Leadership: Show and tell – What is the ALA Leadership Program, and why do we have it?

Some leaders are born, but most are trained to be good leaders. No matter what the experience, level of education or technical skills a member has, she can be trained to be a leader. As long as she is willing to make the commitment, devote her time and energy to listen, learn and communicate, she can become a leader. More…

Submitted by Peggy Monroe, National Leadership Committee Southern Division Chairman

Membership Development: Congrats to these units!

Units across the country work hard every day on their membership goals and do an amazing job. But this year, 252 of our awesome units were able to achieve a really impressive goal: 100 percent by Jan. 6! Everyone knows the unit goals were higher this year, which makes their accomplishments even more exciting. To those units, we offer our sincere appreciation for pursuing those goals and our congratulations for a job well done! The list of units winning this award is located on www.ALAforVeterans.org. If you know members in any of these units, please congratulate them.

Submitted by Diana Sirovina, National Membership Committee Central Division Chairman

Membership Development: The many benefits of a PUFL membership

The Paid Up for Life (PUFL) membership is a way for members in good standing to pay dues for the remainder of their life in advance. While paying a lump sum may seem daunting, have you considered the benefits of a PUFL membership in addition to the benefits you already receive? More…

Submitted by Tina Washington, National Membership Committee Eastern Division Chairman

Public Relations: Creating and sharing useful media contact lists

You’ve planned your event or patriotic holiday celebration, and you want to share this news with your local paper, television or radio station. You write up the relevant facts in a press release. Do you know where to submit it so your information will be published or aired? More…

Submitted by Elaine Mackenzie, National Public Relations Committee Chairman