In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, National Emergency Fund claims are starting to arrive. As of Nov. 30, Internal Affairs has processed 27 claims from American Legion Family members as a result of the storm.
Additionally, seven claims from Hurricane Isaac in the Gulf were filed and processed, bringing the total to 34 claims and $23,552 distributed.
When disaster strikes a community, assistance at the local level helps to ensure that Legion Family members who qualify for an NEF grant receive funds that are needed to assist them.
Departments are encouraged to assign or seek volunteers to be department NEF coordinators who can travel and assist fellow Legion members in the processing and submission of NEF applications. Any questions regarding the development of state NEF coordinators, or the fund, can be directed to David W. Elmore at 317.630.1376.
In other news:
Family Support Network: The American Legion's Family Support Network stands ready to assist military families affected by activation and deployments. Families and military personnel can contact the Family Support Network by calling (800) 504-4098 or by completing the electronic application at http://www.legion.org/fsn . The National Headquarters of The American Legion has received over 1,400 requests during 2012. All departments and posts are encouraged to share their Family Support Network success stories with National Headquarters by using the "Family Support Feedback" tool that is available on the Legion website at http://www.legion.org/fsn .
‘Need a Lift?' guide discontinued: The American Legion has decided to discontinue production of the Need A Lift? financial aid guide. While Need A Lift? was an extremely valuable resource in the past, it is now possible for individuals to easily search the Internet on their own for available scholarships and college information. Need A Lift? will be available online at http://www.legion.org/needalift  until Jan. 1.
Post Development/Revitalization: Working out of Paris Post 211 in Edgar County, a headquarters team coordinated with posts from Edgar and Clark counties. Six posts were represented at our effort. The team sent out 188 letters and made over 150 house visits or phone calls, resulting in 15 new members and 35 transfers from DMS/HQ Post 2910 into various posts in these two counties. Based on the 50 acquired, far surpassed our 10 percent return on investment.
Leadership Education And Development: A second edition of the LEAD booklet is being updated. Next week we anticipate the completion of the second edition and at that time 10 copies will be mailed to each department headquarters.
American Legion Extension Institute: The online American Legion Extension Institute was officially launched on April 11. As of Nov. 29, a total of 1,972 licenses have been purchased for $4.95 for current American Legion and Sons of The American Legion members and $9.95 for non-members.
If you are interested in knowing more about The American Legion and how you can become involved, go to www.legion.org/alei  or visit your mylegion.org.
Membership Program: The current 2013 traditional membership total is 1,549,046, which is 77.6 percent of the 2013 goal. The next target date is on Dec. 12, which is the 75 percent target.
DMS and Renewal Activity: The 2013 Membership Year began on July 1, 2012. This report reflects responses being tracked for the new membership year. The third DMS mailing for the 2013 Membership Year was completed on Nov. 9. Approximately 2.8 million pieces were mailed at that time.
DMS Acquires: Prospects, 70,884; expires: 42,357; TOTAL: 113,241 (On Nov. 16, the total was 99,180.)
• 2013 Goal: 210,000; percentage of goal: 53.9 percent (up from 47.2 percent two weeks ago).
• Current Renewal Rate for 2012 DMS Members: 36.3 percent (up from 35.2 percent two weeks ago)
On-Line Renewal Activity: 2013 Membership Year On-Line Renewals: 136,725 (up from 132,236 two weeks ago)
Sons of The American Legion: The Sons of The American Legion membership for 2013 currently stands at 131,963 members or 37.4 percent as of Nov. 29. At present, the Sons are running 155 members behind this same date last year. Membership for 2012 stands at 352,492 members or at 101.2 percent. Thirty-one Detachments have already achieved 100 percent membership for the 2012 membership year.