American Legion Auxiliary members embody Service Not Self during COVID-19 era

Posted On: Sunday, 20 December 2020

ALA National President Nicole Clapp

ALA National President Nicole Clapp

ALA strong

A special message from American Legion Auxiliary National President Nicole Clapp

December holiday time is often called the Season of Giving. But American Legion Auxiliary members give their time and effort year-round in service to our nation’s veterans, military, and their families. Despite this year’s COVID-19 global pandemic, plus a slowly recovering U.S. economy, the Auxiliary’s spirit of Service Not Self has been as strong as ever.

Fulfilling the ALA’s mission of selfless service hasn’t been easy, as COVID-19 presented Auxiliary members and nonmember volunteers with a new normal for everyone that included social distancing, temporary post home closures, and limited visitations to veterans homes and similar facilities. At the same time, COVID-19 has claimed lots of lives, seriously sickened many people, and led to unemployment and homelessness for some. My heart goes out to anyone who lost a loved one due to this menacing virus or were otherwise adversely impacted by it.

Yet, ALA members pushed through the sadness, overcame challenges, and put our mission into motion to make positive impacts on the health and well-being of veterans, servicemembers, and their families. Applying resilience, resolve, and resourcefulness, while exhibiting kindness, care, and compassion, Auxiliary members continued to turn obstacles into opportunities to serve.

Among those efforts, done safely, our members: delivered meals to homebound veterans; helped with item distributions at local food pantries; hosted blood drives; made and/or purchased personal protective equipment for frontline healthcare workers; and carried out drive-by birthday parades for older veterans and military families who couldn’t otherwise gather for traditional celebrations.

Auxiliary members also looked after one another with regular calls, emails, and texts to check in. And when it came to taking care of ALA business, Auxiliary members and leaders adjusted to the times by holding more virtual meetings and events.

ALA National Headquarters’ staff continued serving too, using technology to keep things running — behind the scenes, everyday activities plus high-profile happenings. Our national staff continued the ALA’s co-presentation of the annual National Veterans Creative Arts Festival as it was converted to a virtual format this year, along with having converted in-person trainings and conferences into webinars. Several Auxiliary departments also held their ALA Girls State programs virtually.

I challenge everyone, especially my fellow American Legion Auxiliary members and our National Headquarters staff, to keep that momentum going, and to never forget how well we respond during incredibly trying times. For the health and well-being of America’s veterans, military, and their families, let’s remain ALA strong.
With my sincere appreciation and gratitude, happy holidays!

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.