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August 2022 eNews

A Community of Volunteers Serving Veterans, Military, and their Families

Get ready to bid on a one-of-a-kind handbag

Our friends at R.Riveter are making another one-of-a-kind handbag to benefit the American Legion Auxiliary. The ALA will receive 100% of the proceeds! R.Riveter will host the auction on their Instagram on August 17. The bag is still under wraps, but keep an eye out on social media (@ALAforVeterans and @RRiveterbags) for the reveal!

You don’t have to wait until the auction to get an R.Riveter bag — ALA members can shop other R.Riveter products with a discount by going to: https://bit.ly/3tYTsWm.

See you in Milwaukee!

We are counting down the days until our 101st National Convention. This year, we’ll gather in Milwaukee Aug. 26-Sept. 1.

What do you need to know about this year’s convention?

  • New this year — most of the pre-convention committee meetings are virtual, providing more members an opportunity to attend. These virtual meetings will be held August 10-23. On-demand recordings will be available online later.
  • A member dues increase is being proposed for ratification at National Convention. Read more here and follow the livestream later this month to watch the voting as it happens.
  • Learn about the members running for a 2022-2023 ALA national office.
  • Our 2021-2022 focus is on caregivers. During this administrative year, we’ve been sharing stories on caregivers via our blog, in Auxiliary magazine, and on social media. You can read our caregiver series here.
  • Even if you won’t physically be in Milwaukee, you can follow along with our social media @ALAforVeterans and our livestream at www.ALAforVeterans.org/convention. If you are attending, take pictures and post on social media! Tag @ALAforVeterans and use the hashtags #AuxCon22 and #AmericanLegionAuxiliary.

Change the future by honoring the past during ALA National Convention

This year during ALA National Convention, the American Legion Auxiliary Foundation will be working to change the future by honoring the past. Donors in the convention city, or those from home online, can make a gift to the ALA Foundation to kick off our #GivingTuesday campaign. Add a tribute to your gift, and your loved one’s name will appear on our Wall of Heroes for the duration of convention. Make a gift today!?

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75 years of ALA Girls Nation

For the 75th year, teenage girls from across the country attended ALA Girls Nation in Washington, D.C. A lot has changed over the years, but one thing remains the same: The program continues to give young women leadership skills that will benefit them in their future careers. Do you have memories from ALA Girls Nation and ALA Girls State? We want to hear from all ages of alumnae! Tell us about your experience and memories from ALA Girls Nation and ALA Girls State. Email us!

Happy 15th anniversary to the ALA Foundation!

The American Legion Auxiliary Foundation began serving veterans, military, and their families in 2007 and hasn’t looked back. Though the ALA Foundation’s impact has grown exponentially since its inception, there is more to be done. Learn how the Foundation has helped heroes in need over the past 15 years, and see how your ALA unit could be supported by the Foundation today at www.ALAFoundation.org.

AEF: Members Helping Members

Natural disasters can strike at any time and create an instant struggle for those impacted. When they do, the Auxiliary Emergency Fund (AEF) is there to help our members. Donations by our members and the public make this crucial “helping hand” fund available during difficult times. Make a donation to help ALA members when they need it most.

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Good to know

Have you seen the August Auxiliary magazine? In this issue, we wrap up our caregiver series, veterans share how they overcame major obstacles through the arts, and we dive into much more. Did an article stand out to you, or did you learn something new from this issue? Let us know!

New coloring book available. You can now order and download the America the Beautiful coloring book. These easy-to-use publications are a great way to spread awareness of the ALA and our important mission to families in your community.

Do you shop Amazon Prime? If you do, be sure to use AmazonSmile! Through Amazon’s charitable program, AmazonSmile, you can support the American Legion Auxiliary Foundation. Simply sign in through this special link and select the American Legion Auxiliary. Amazon will donate 0.5% of every purchase you make to the ALA Foundation. It may seem small, but a little can add up to a lot.

New, easier-to-print American Legion Family membership applications are available. These simpler versions can be printed from your home office — and without stealing all of your ink! We removed the color block headers from the original brochure (which you can still order from your department/state ALA office if you prefer) to make things easier for your membership recruiting activities. Click here to download this black-and-white version.

Find ALA program committee groups on Facebook
Discover what your fellow ALA members are saying in the committee Facebook groups! These easy-to-access forums provide an arena for organic discussion about your local programs or services and present the opportunity to cultivate brand awareness. Find the list of groups here.
On the ALA Blog

Junior Activities patches: Will YOU be the one?

The “collectability” aspect of patches in the ALA Junior Activities Patch Program is a wonderful way to introduce the program to your Junior and young Sons of The American Legion members.

Will YOU be the one to inspire your Junior and young SAL members to get started on a collection for a lifetime? The key to sparking any good collection is getting that ever important first one…. And the joy and pride one feels when they’ve worked hard to earn it, have received it, shared it, and displayed it.

So how can you spark your Junior members to collect patches?

Let's all Give 10 to Education

Once again, it’s that time of year when we see parents and their children shopping for school supplies, looking at their list to see what they can afford.

Many families can’t afford those school supplies and this where the American Legion Auxiliary can step in and help. The ALA’s Give 10 to Education program collects needed items in multiples of 10 — 10 pencils, 10 notebooks, 10 rulers, 10 glue sticks — you get the idea.

Every ALA unit, no matter how big or how small, can participate in this project and make a difference in the lives of these children.

Don't miss out on ALA member benefits!

Have you heard of our member benefit provider Shipthrifty? Some ALA members have found their services helpful when it comes to sending care packages.

“Using Shipthrifty is wonderful! I have been involved in sending military packages for about 15 years. It had always been a chore sending the packages at the post office. With Shipthrifty, it is so easy I can’t believe it. It is also so much more economical. Thank you for this service!”

— Lois Wilson, American Legion Auxiliary Unit 22, Lebanon, N.H.

Save the date!

Aug. 10 – U.S. Department of Defense birthday

Aug. 13 – R.Riveter handbag auction to benefit ALA

Aug. 14 – Navajo Code Talkers Day

Aug. 21-25 – The American Legion Legacy Run

Aug. 26-Sept. 1 – ALA 101st National Convention in Milwaukee

Thinking good thoughts: What's the best thing to come out of the pandemic?

“Learned that no obstacle is greater than the will and imagination of our ALA Unit 245 when it comes to serving active military, veterans, and their families!”

Karen Runk, Wisconsin

Legion Family News

President Biden signs PACT Act

Today, Wednesday, Aug. 10, President Joe Biden signed the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our PACT Act into law.

The PACT Act will ensure millions of veterans exposed to noxious fumes emanating from burn pits will have access to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) care and benefits.

The bill is named after Army National Guard Sgt. Heath Robinson. After deploying to Kosovo and Iraq as a combat medic with the Ohio National Guard, Robinson was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disorder and stage 4 lung cancer. He died in May 2020, leaving behind his wife and daughter, Brielle.

Read more here.

100 Miles for Hope challenge

Lisa Iskric didn’t join the third annual 100 Miles for Hope challenge until the end of June but she is making up for lost time. Iskric raised the highest donation total during the month of July, earning herself a special incentive, a commemorative shirt autographed by INDYCAR driver Jimmie Johnson.

Not only did the American Legion Auxiliary member lead all participants in fundraising, she plays a vital role in her unit's and post home's efforts to raise funds for and awareness of the 100 Miles for Hope challenge. In fact, American Legion Post 420 in Steelton, Pa., just outside Harrisburg, holds an annual Finish Line Festival as part of its participation.

This year’s festival occurs after the Sept. 5 conclusion of 100 Miles for Hope. So post 420 is planning to use the festival to raise awareness of The American Legion’s Be The One campaign, which is aimed at raising awareness to reduce the number of veteran suicides.

All proceeds from 100 Miles for Hope go to the V&CF, which then funds programs that help disabled veterans receive free assistance in getting their earned VA benefits, as well as creating grants for military families who have fallen on hard times.

The final monthly challenge will reward the top fundraiser from Aug. 1 through Sept. 5. That participant will receive an autographed shirt from driver Alex Palou.

Don't delay; sign up now and compete for this incentive. At the conclusion of the challenge, the top overall fundraiser will receive the top incentive — four tickets to the INDYCAR race of their choosing during the 2023 season.

The American Legion will have an enhanced convention app for 2022

The American Legion has been using a convention app since 2011 to keep convention goers updated on schedules, events, and more. For this year’s convention, the app will be enhanced to include profiles of honorees, multimedia options, floor plans, and agendas. Information about host city Milwaukee will also be expanded.

The app will replace some of the information previously included in the convention program. That publication will now serve as a souvenir function, rather than an agenda.

The app will be available to download to your mobile device free of charge from the Apple Store or Google Play, and will be updated as convention draws closer. You can also search the stores for “The American Legion National Convention,” or access them via a legion.org/mobileapps.

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In the spirit of Service Not Self, the mission of the American Legion Auxiliary is to support The American Legion and 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.
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