Auxiliary Emergency Fund
2019-2021 American Legion Auxiliary Emergency Fund
What is this program, and why do we have it?
The Auxiliary Emergency Fund provides temporary financial assistance to eligible members during times of financial crises or weather-related emergencies and natural disasters and promotes awareness and knowledge of the program.
Eligibility: Persons who have been members of the American Legion Auxiliary for at least the immediate past two consecutive years, AND whose current membership dues are paid at the time the emergency occurs (three consecutive years’ dues) may apply for assistance.
Assistance Provided: The maximum grant amount is $2,400, disbursed as the Auxiliary Emergency Fund Grant Committee determines.
What Can You Do?
Member and Unit:
Familiarize each unit and department with what AEF can and cannot do, where to locate the current application and how to apply.
- Distribute the “Before you Begin – Frequently Asked Questions” sheet and AEF brochure found at www.ALAforVeterans.org to eligible members.
- Promote as a benefit to new members.
- Have printed applications and AEF brochures available during unit meetings and at the local post.
Help the National Auxiliary Emergency Fund obtain donations by supporting department and unit fundraisers.
- Support fundraisers sponsored by your department and unit.
- Make a personal donation to the AEF. Donations of $50 or more will receive a pin requested by your department from National Headquarters.
- Put an AEF donation can in your local post (visit www.ALAforVeterans.org for a free, downloadable can label). Solicit local businesses for monetary or in-kind donations to your unit for AEF.
- Schedule an annual “Members Helping Members” night at your local post. Not only is this a great time for an AEF fundraiser, but it gives you the opportunity to share information about what makes a member eligible to receive help from the AEF. Have membership applications available, and sign up new members during an event. Legion members might sign up eligible relatives in order to provide this protection for them. Prior to the event, be sure all unit members have read and are familiar with the AEF frequently asked questions as well as the criteria for assistance.
The following core rules apply to the Auxiliary Emergency Fund:
A time of financial crisis when no other source of aid is readily available to pay for shelter, food and utilities.
Weather-related emergencies and natural disasters, for food and shelter.
Educational training for eligible members who lack the necessary skills for employment or to upgrade competitive workforce skills.
Citation Plaque Recognition – Given to one unit and one department contributing the largest donations (per capita) to the Auxiliary Emergency Fund as of June 1, 2021.
Citation and Lapel Pin Recognition – Presented to any individual contributor donating $50 or more. The citation form is available at www.ALAforVeterans.org. Citations may be printed by the unit or department.
Special 100th Anniversary Program Facts:
The Auxiliary Emergency fund was established in 1969 by the National Executive Committee, as National President Marcella Davidson, Department of New Mexico, started this as her special project. It was funded initially through a generous legacy gift from Auxiliary member Helen Colby Small of Burlington, Wisconsin. The AEF is now able to continue to grant assistance through voluntary contributions. The Auxiliary promotes awareness of the fund, disseminates information about the application process, and solicits donations from units, departments, and individual members in order to continue its availability as a resource to help members in certain dire states. A national AEF grant review committee awards AEF grants to applicants based on criteria, membership, and fund availability.
In 1981, the AEF program was expanded to include a fund to help members who needed to support themselves due to unexpected life-changing circumstances such as death or illness of a spouse, divorce, or desertion. Those women found it difficult to obtain employment, and who are without the job skills necessary to obtain adequate employment. Because of this, short-term assistance can now be provided to help our members acquire marketable job skills through schooling or job training when all other sources of financial aid have been exhausted. This was called the Displaced Homemakers Fund. With the continuous generosity of our unit members, the funds allowed a wider use of the benefits to our members and it continues today. The first AEF grant amount was $150 and today the grant amount is for $2,400 that our members may be eligible to receive. Since the AEF Program’s existence, our members have received an estimated $5.8 million, with over $6 million in donations from our generous members.
Additional Resources You Can Use
www.operationhomefront.net (general financial assistance for military families)
www.211.org (referral program for local help with food, housing and employment)
www.fema.gov (disaster assistance)
www.redcross.org (disaster assistance)
www.fns.usda.gov/snap/ (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program)
www.liheap.ncat.org (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program)