Somerset, Wis., ALA Unit 111 members Brenda Guse (left) and Mary Shimon distributed poppies outside of a local grocery store to veterans and customers for donations in May.
The American Legion Auxiliary is approaching its 101st birthday later this year. You could say we’ve been through a lot in our century of service. In fact, when we were first being established as an organization, the world was slowly overcoming another major health event – the 1918 influenza pandemic.
Back then, despite the colossal rough patches, the Auxiliary was able to grow membership numbers – and more importantly – become a strong, loving support system for veterans, military, and their families.
Because of COVID-19, things have changed in how we serve our mission today. American Legion post homes are closed, people are directed to socially distance themselves from others, and we’re affected by the cancellation of events that could’ve given us recruitment facetime with the public. But those things, as challenging as they may be, don’t have to thwart our mission outreach efforts.
At ALA National Headquarters, we’ve learned that in the past few months, our members have made face coverings from home, hosted drive-by poppy events, stocked food pantries, helped medical centers when supplies were needed, attended blood drives, held “parades” to residents in nursing homes to uplift spirits, provided lunches, made phone calls to fellow members, provided snacks to nursing homes for veterans and employees, and made donations of pampering items to nurses.
What does all of that mean?
It means your membership makes a difference! We may not be able to do a lot of our usual activities in person, but our dues help keep our organization going strong, remain a remarkable force, and continue to be a frontrunning face to those we serve.
It means our veterans at home and at the VAs aren’t forgotten. Children, who are likely feeling the emotional effects of social distancing, are still the apple of our eyes. And those in uniform are always held in the highest regard, no matter what.
We shouldn’t back down because of COVID-19. We should instead become more focused on our veterans, military, and their families. They need us. Our organization needs us.
Renew your American Legion Auxiliary membership online today or call us at (317) 569-4570.