AEF: Another value of American Legion Auxiliary membership in times of need

Posted On: Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Five years ago on July 6, 2015, tragedy struck Sue DeDecker’s home in Orion, Ill. A flood filled her basement with water from floor to ceiling, and she prayed it would not continue to creep up to the rest of her house.

Though it never reached the first floor, the damage to Sue’s basement and garage was extensive – she would have to replace her furnace, air conditioner, washer, dryer, hot water heater, generator, refrigerator, freezer, and car. While her vehicle was insured, she did not have flood insurance for her home.

“When we got started cleaning up the mess, one of my [American Legion] Auxiliary friends mentioned I was eligible to apply for an Auxiliary Emergency Fund grant,” Sue said.

Sue had heard about the Auxiliary Emergency Fund (AEF) before, but in the chaos of the flood, it didn’t cross her mind. She quickly filled out the paperwork and was awarded $1,500.

“I felt honored that they would bless me with that much money,” Sue said. “It helped me immensely. We lost so many things, and that grant really made a big difference for us.”

Before the flood, Sue already knew the impact the ALA had on veterans, military, and their families. She loved being able to honor her husband’s military service with her volunteer work. Now, five years later, she realizes how vital her membership was in helping her recover from hardship.

“I just would really like to reinforce the fact that if you miss paying your dues, and then the next year you have a tragedy, you’re not eligible for this grant, so keeping your dues paid up yearly is really a important thing to do,” Sue said.

In today’s world, many things are uncertain, and people across the nation are experiencing hardships. The Auxiliary Emergency Fund was created to be there for our members in these challenging times.

You can make a difference in an Auxiliary member’s life by donating to the Auxiliary Emergency Fund at or by sharing information to members who may be struggling.

ALA Mission

In the spirit of Service, Not Self, the mission of the American Legion Auxiliary is to support The American Legion and to honor the sacrifice of those who serve by enhancing the lives of our veterans, military, and their families, both at home and abroad. For God and Country, we advocate for veterans, educate our citizens, mentor youth, and promote patriotism, good citizenship, peace and security.