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

In The Know eBulletin from National Headquarters

May 2022 eNews

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

Just over two weeks until National Poppy Day (May 27 this year)

Do you have an event planned for this special day? Make sure people know about it by advertising! Be sure to promote it on your social media, reach out to your local media outlets, include it in your post home newsletter, and more!

We have resources available to help you promote your American Legion Family National Poppy Day events and activities.

Visit www.ALAforVeterans.org for:

Banners

Posters

If you have questions on how poppy funds can be used, we encourage you to watch a recording of the ALA Academy webinar Using Poppy Funds to Serve Our Mission.

Join us virtually for our 2022 National Poppy Day event

We’re finishing the final details of our back-by-popular-demand Virtual National Poppy Day, and you can be in it! We’ve extended the deadline for you to submit your video — Thursday, May 12, is the final day to submit a video telling us what the poppy means to you.

Here’s how:

  • Record yourself, or have someone record you, and email it to us. If the file is too big, use the site www.WeTransfer.com to send it to PR@ALAforVeterans.org by Thursday, May 12.
  • Videos must be filmed in landscape mode (hold your camera horizontally).
  • Tip — avoid having a window, sunshine, or busy background behind you.

Be sure to join us on Facebook (@ALAforVeterans) for our Virtual National Poppy Day presentation on May 27 at noon ET.

Pay tribute to fallen warriors on Memorial Day

On Memorial Day, May 30, American Legion Auxiliary members will honor the men and women who fought for our freedoms. Please take a moment this Memorial Day to honor their sacrifices, pray for their families, and bow your head in recognition of their service. Wear a poppy on National Poppy Day®.

Take the latest ALA Academy Live course: Department Convention Prep

It’s a topic that can be confusing — but not if you have the advance know-how! In this new ALA Academy Live webinar, you’ll learn about what should occur prior, during, and post department conventions, including specific information on quorum, elections, the role of a parliamentarian, and organizing the department for convention business.

We know you’ve got questions … we’ve got the answers! Led by presenters Professional Registered Parliamentarian Chris Dickey and National Headquarters’ Tamara Shumate and Angie Graham, this webinar will kick off a new ALA Academy Live series on American Legion Auxiliary governance. Here’s a snapshot view of what participants will learn:

  • Discussion topics will include quorum, delegate strength, elections, notice of business, pre- and post-convention checklists, maintaining order during a meeting, and the role of the parliamentarian during a meeting.
  • We will use real-life examples from department conventions to address potential challenges while providing proactive steps to avoid these situations.

Department Convention Prep

(Part of a New ALA Governance Certification Series)

Tuesday, May 17, at 7:30 p.m. ET

Register now.

Take a poppy painting workshop from your home

To celebrate National Poppy Day, please join us for a poppy painting workshop on Wednesday, May 18, at 7:30 p.m. ET featuring Heal Her Art.

During this workshop, you will be painting poppies on to the glass surface of your choice, such as a bottle, a plate, or a tile — the only limit is your imagination.

The price of admission is a $10 donation to the American Legion Auxiliary Foundation due at the time of registration.

Once registered, you will need to gather your supplies:

  • Acrylic paint in black, white, green-blue, red, yellow
  • Medium flat brush
  • Small round detail brush
  • Black Sharpie
  • Glass surface (vase, bottle, etc.) or canvas
  • Cup of water
  • Paper towels
  • Palette or plate

Register here.

Are you a caregiver? Take this new journaling webinar

Caregivers have one of the toughest jobs out there … and hardly an easy way to release their stress. In this upcoming ALA Academy Live webinar, we offer our unsung heroes a way to learn how to use journaling/free writing to manage stress and channel emotions to handle the pressures, strain, and anxiety of caregiving.

Journaling for Caregivers

Wednesday, May 25, at 7:30 p.m. ET

To celebrate Month of the Military Caregiver and all of our caregivers, ALA National President Kathy Daudistel and American Legion Auxiliary National Headquarters present Journaling for Caregivers, a webinar led by B. Lynn Goodwin, writing coach and author of You Want Me to Do What? Journaling for Caregivers.

The first 100 people to register will receive a free caregiver journal to continue their journaling process.

Sign up today to get your stress out!

Nominate an ALA Junior for this national award

Do you have an ALA Junior who’s doing amazing work for the ALA? Be sure to nominate her for the national Junior Member of the Year award!

Tell us all the fabulous things she’s been doing, and send us pictures!

Nominations are due June 1, 2022, to JuniorActivities@ALAforVeterans.org.

For more information, visit the Junior Activities Committee page in the MyAuxiliary member portal.

It's time for ALA Juniors to run for office

ALA Juniors who attended one of the five national Junior meetings this year are eligible to run for their division’s Honorary National Junior Division Vice President.

Juniors who wish to run must complete an Intent to Run for Office form, to be submitted to ALA National Headquarters by July 22, 2022.

Contact JuniorActivities@ALAforVeterans.org for a copy of the form.

Elections will be held Aug. 1-12, 2022, and results will be announced during the national Junior Activities Committee chairman’s platform remarks during National Convention in late August.

New coloring book available

We’ve added to the ALA collection of coloring books. You can now order and download the America the Beautiful coloring book. These books are a great way to spread awareness of the ALA and our important mission to families in your community.

New, easier-to-print American Legion Family membership applications available

In a rush? Need American Legion Family applications quickly for an event?

Try these simpler versions which 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.

ALA learning opportunities still available on demand

Check out the recorded ALA Academy Live courses, and remind your fellow members about these educational offerings. Do you have other members in your unit who would benefit from taking a course? Our live webinars are always recorded and can be viewed in the MyAuxiliary member portal. ALA Academy Live webinars currently available:

  • Using Social Media to Your Unit’s Advantage
  • Using Poppy Funds
  • Unit Fundraising Panel
  • ALA Junior Leadership Training (includes four webinars)
  • Mission Delivery Series (includes four webinars)

The ALA Academy also includes self-paced courses:

  • ALA 101
  • ALA Branding and Why it Matters to Me
  • ALA Communication Methods
  • Establishing an ALA Culture of Goodwill
  • ALA Fundraising
  • How to Deal with Conflict
  • ALA Leadership: Living Our Motto of Service Not Self
  • ALA Juniors eLearning Course

Get started today! Log in with your member ID here.

Get to know NHQ

We love meeting members and getting to know them. We hope you love meeting the National Headquarters staff too. So, we are starting a new series in our monthly ALA eNews and on our social media (@ALAforVeterans) so our members can know us!

This month, we’re giving you an overview of National Headquarters.

ALA National Headquarters staff are devoted to helping all members and the public know who we are, what we do, and why the ALA matters. Staff execute the policies, programs, memberships, national events, trainings, financials, fundraising, marketing, and so much more. All of these things help our members serve veterans, military, and their families. In addition, staff provide resources, guidance, and support.

Good to know

The May issue of Auxiliary magazine is arriving in mailboxes and is available online. In this issue, caregivers tell us what it’s really like, we highlight ALA honor and color guards, give you a look at the importance of mentoring Junior members, and more. Did an article stand out to you, or did you learn something new from this issue? Let us know!

Flag Day is June 14. Government and businesses can buy flags/equipment from American Legion Flag & Emblem Sales, an approved entity that can sell flags and flag display equipment to government agencies at the federal, state, and local levels. American Legion Family members can help raise awareness about the American Legion Auxiliary and generate revenue for the Legion Family by encouraging government and businesses to buy USA-made flags and flag equipment from Emblem Sales. Any VA facility, company, church, civic organization, or the public can buy flags and flag items from Emblem Sales.

Have you renewed your American Legion Auxiliary membership? Renew for 2022 by phone, online, or mail. Go to www.ALAforVeterans.org, call (317) 569-4570, or mail in your renewal notice.

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.

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

Essential branding tips for National Poppy Day

Are you getting ready for National Poppy Day® 2022?

American Legion Auxiliary members can help our organization by incorporating small branding changes that add up to make big differences. One mission-related branding event members can and should always focus on is the Friday before Memorial Day — National Poppy Day.

In addition to the traditional label on our poppy, here are a few suggested areas where the ALA brand also should be seen:

  • Money buckets: Label whatever you use (can, jar, basket, etc.) for distribution days with a donation can label. Download an ALA-branded poppy donation can label at www.ALAforVeterans.org and search “donation can label.” This is a visual way to help the public understand that their poppy donation helps the Auxiliary assist veterans, military, and their families. You can also check with your local businesses to see if they would be willing to place your donation can at their location as a collection site.

Caregiver series: Georgette Wenton

It’s one thing to be a caregiver for someone. It’s an entirely other thing to be a caregiver and go through major health issues yourself. This is ALA member Georgette Wenton’s reality.

“It’s very hard to have the tables turned on me and be a care recipient,” she said, emotion pouring out of her. “It made my ability to handle a schedule a little more important — balancing his appointments and needs and my not wanting to spend all the days I feel good in doctor’s appointments all day.”

Wenton was diagnosed with Stage 2 ovarian cancer while also continuing to care for her husband, Jason. She had surgery Oct. 18, 2021. A month later, she had her first round of chemotherapy.

“I couldn’t even carry hampers to do laundry,” she recalled.

Wenton has been a caregiver for Jason for several years.

He served during Desert Storm with the U.S. Army combat engineers. Jason developed a rash related to his job duties while deployed, and it was misdiagnosed as a heat rash when it was gout.

Benefitting youth: How Project Stuff Sack came to fruition

At ALA Girls Nation in July 2010, ALA Girls Nation senators brought items and assembled them into supplied backpacks, enabling the girls to understand the importance of supporting military families.

In 2021, realizing we had the resources, we had the network, and we had plenty of hands on deck to do something similar, Project Stuff Sack was born. Thanks to Kristin Hinshaw and Madison Maves, ALA National Headquarters staff, we took this concept and submitted it for a Child Welfare grant. It was awarded in October 2021, and we got to work.

Sacks were designed, materials were discussed, and a plan was put in place. It was an exciting time to see Project Stuff Sack come to life. We maximized our grant resources and ordered as much material as possible, making sure to evenly distribute among our 52 ALA departments. A how-to sheet was developed to ensure that departments understood the project and their role in making a positive event happen. We utilized the team at the 2022 National Chairmen’s Meeting to help get everything ready to go, and then boxes were sent. We anxiously waited for feedback.

Tips to keep our troops safe — a military spouse's perspective

We live in the land of the free because of the brave. Our veterans and military servicemembers dedicate their lives to protect and defend our great nation and everyone lucky enough to live here. After everything they have sacrificed for our country — for each of us — the least we can do is continue to keep our troops safe, while keeping the faith, and encouraging positivity.

Military spouses — the heroes behind the scenes — know firsthand how important it is to keep our servicemembers safe and supported. Auxiliary magazine interviewed military spouses at American Legion Auxiliary National Headquarters for their advice on this subject:

  • Knowing OPSEC. Don’t inadvertently violate OPSEC, or operations security, by posting a public note on the spouse’s social media. Social posts that refer to troop movement — like details on a military unit’s location, personnel names, ranks, or other IDs, and especially dates, times of flight arrivals, and departures — have the potential to critically and negatively affect our deploying military.
Don't miss out on ALA member benefits!

The spiraling cost of prescription drugs is a major concern for all Americans, often forcing people to choose between taking care of their health and paying their bills. GlicRx is a prescription discount card that can help alleviate some of that stress. Learn how you can save on eligible prescriptions. Your access code is ALRX100 when prompted.

GlicRx is not insurance and is completely free to use for you and your family.

One of the goals of the American Legion Auxiliary is to provide our members with the finest member benefits and exceptional customer service. With this in mind, we have consolidated the administration and marketing of all our insurance member benefits with one administrator, Amwins Group Benefits LLC, which has administered several of our membership plans for over 10 years. Learn more.

Save the date!

May – Military Appreciation Month

May 13 – Children of Fallen Patriots Day

May 21 – Armed Forces Day

May 27 – National Poppy Day

May 30 – Memorial Day

June – PTSD Awareness Month

June 6 – D-Day

June 14 – Flag Day

On being a caregiver...

“There is a reason you were meant to do this. And you were picked to do this. This wasn’t something that was thrust upon you — I truly believe it’s a calling. You were meant to give back somehow. This is a reward for you.”

Randi Johnson Hanson, Wisconsin

Legion Family News

Take action to support veterans exposed to toxic hazards

American Legion National Commander Paul E. Dillard is urging American Legion Family members to take action to help get the PACT Act (Comprehensive Toxics Act) passed by the U.S. Senate before Memorial Day.

“Memorial Day is the perfect time to deliver a bill for the president to sign,” Dillard said. “His son, Beau Biden, died of brain cancer while in the prime of his life. He also was a veteran exposed to burn pits. We know the military is a tight-knit brotherhood and sisterhood. The fallen heroes who we honor on Memorial Day would want us to care for their sick comrades.”

The House of Representatives passed the PACT Act in March. The Act would provide Priority Group 6 status for more than 3.5 million veterans exposed to toxic contamination, including burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan. It also expands the list of conditions associated with Agent Orange exposure, and acknowledges illnesses suffered among veterans exposed to atomic radiation and toxic water at Camp Lejeune.

Members of The American Legion Family can contact their senators through the Legislative Action Center.

Tony Kanaan driving The American Legion IndyCar

For a second year, The American Legion will be represented at the Indianapolis 500 IndyCar race. Tony Kanaan will drive The American Legion sponsored car for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Kanaan is one of the most popular drivers. He won the race in 2013, and this year marks his 21st Indy 500.

Kanaan also drove The American Legion sponsored car in 2021, finishing in 10th place.

The Indianapolis 500 is Sunday, May 29. You can watch for Kanaan in the No. 48 car during the broadcast on NBC. The race is scheduled to begin at 12:45 p.m. ET with coverage beginning at 11 a.m. ET.

The American Legion has a multi-year sponsorship agreement with Chip Ganassi Racing for the No. 48 Honda in the NTT IndyCar Series.

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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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