The American Legion National Headquarters processed 24 National Emergency Fund claims from Legion family members last week. Eight grants went to American Legion families in New York totaling $3,250 and 16 grants went to Legion members in New Jersey totaling $16,950.
Since Jan. 1, 266 grants have been provided to Legion family members and posts with a total payout of $254,390. Donations to the fund for the year are $39,890.
The distribution is as follows:
In only three months, payout from the fund has surpassed last year's total by more than $24,000. With spring storms aroundthe corner, National Headquarters expects more Legion family members will be in need. When a natural disaster strikes a community, timely notice is imperative to our affected members and assistance at the local level helps to ensure that those Legion family members who qualify for an NEF grant be given the information to process a claim.
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 NEF coordinators, or the fund, can be directed to David W. Elmore at 317.630.1376. www.legion.org/emergency 
In other news:
New certificate available: Emblem Sales customers who have purchased ROTC, School Award or Boys State items in the past are being sent an email announcing a new certificate titled, "The American Legion Military Commitment Certificate of Commendation." This certificate is an excellent way for Legion posts to show respect, admiration and gratitude to those young men and women who choose to serve in the United States Armed Forces immediately following high school graduation. This certificate may be purchased online: http://emblem.legion.org/  or by calling (888) 453-4466.
Legion Baseball: Letters of authorization are being mailed to the staff of the American Legion Baseball regional and World Series tournaments that will be held this summer. Eddie Holbrook and Jim Horn, co-chairmen of Shelby, N.C., ALWS Baseball Committee, were inducted into the North Carolina American Legion Baseball Hall of Fame on March 9 in Hickory, N.C. Read the story . www.legion.org/baseball 
Legion Riders: The goal for 2013 is for The American Legion Riders to raise $450,000 for The American Legion Legacy Scholarship by the last day of the national convention. Currently, 175 participants have registered. Online registration will continue until Aug. 9. www.legion.org/riders 
Route planning is complete and will be announced on www.legion.org  and via the upcoming ALR e-newsletter as soon as favorable lodging rates have been secured at selected sites. Sign up for the Riders e-newsletter: http://editor.ne16.com/legacyrun/legacyrun-signup.html 
Operation Comfort Warriors: Individual OCW/H2H assistance requests have come from veterans in Ohio, Kansas, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Florida and Texas. The requests are being processed by the respective departments. OCW is in the process of planning donation deliveries and possible visits to Fort Carson, Colo.; Fort Drum, N.Y., and Fort Riley, Kan. OCW recently sent a shipment of board and card games to the Warrior Transition Battalion at Fort Campbell and two cases of DVDs to Fort Knox. www.legion.org/ocw 
Boys Nation: Letters of authorization are being mailed to the staff of the American Legion Boys Nation program that will be held this summer on the campus of Marymount University. www.legion.org/boysnation 
Membership and DMS Program
The current 2013 traditional membership total is 1,857,031, which is 93 percent of the 2013 goal. Fifty departments met the 90 percent target date.
The 2013 membership year began on July 1. The fourth DMS mailing for the 2013 membership year was completed on Feb. 4. Approximately 1.6 million pieces were mailed at that time. Responses from that mailing are now being processed.
Based on the four DMS mailings this year, we have acquired:
DMS Acquires: prospects: 92,308; expires: 73,243; total: 165,308
2013 Goal – 185,00; percentage of goal: 89.36%
Current Renewal Rate for 2012 DMS Members — 46.70% (88,548 of 189,685 new 2012 members)
On-Line Renewal Activity
2013 Membership Year On-Line Renewals (since July 1) – 173,124
Sons: The Sons of The American Legion achieved 83 percent for the seventh Sons membership target goal for the 2013 membership year on March 13. Son's membership currently stands at 293,953 members and is 7,309 ahead of last year. At present, 31 detachments achieved the 80 percent membership target goal.
The next SAL membership target date is April 10, which will be the 90 percent membership target goal.