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Volunteer Opportunities

Adopt a National Guard or Reserve Unit

Posts throughout the country are encouraged to connect with local National Guard and reserve units to learn about the many ways volunteers can assist.

For more information, contact The American Legion Internal Affairs Division at (317) 630-1321.


R. Sunny Farrand, Dept. of California, passes out hoodies to soldiers as part of The American Legion Operation Comfort Warriors program at Fort Knox, Ky. Photo by Tom Strattman

Community Troop-Support Initiatives

Download the “Support our Troops” brochure. Support rallies and yellow-ribbon campaigns give communities an opportunity to express support for troops. News of such efforts provides servicemembers encouragement and inspiration. Legionnaires and all Americans are urged to partner with local organizations, schools, government and the media to coordinate such events.

The Legion can help organize events. Contact the Internal Affairs Division at (317) 630-1321.

United We Serve

Through the United We Serve, government can support the momentum of the millions of acts of kindness and decency that are changing America one heart at a time. The United We Serve Network helps individuals find service opportunities that match their interests and talents in their hometowns, across the country and around the world.

To learn more, call (877) 872-2677, or visit www.serve.gov.

USO

United Service Organizations is chartered by Congress as a nonprofit charitable corporation and endorsed by the president and the Department of Defense. USO’s mission is to provide welfare, recreation and morale-raising services to U.S. military members.

More than 12,000 members in the USO international corps of volunteers provide an estimated 450,000 hours of service annually. From welcoming home deployed troops to helping entertain soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen, the volunteer contribution in delivering a “Touch of Home” is USO’s primary asset.

To learn how to become a USO volunteer, call (202) 610-5700 or visit www.uso.org.

Red Cross

Volunteers comprise about 97 percent of the International Red Cross work force. More than 24,000 volunteers serve as chairmen, on advisory or directors boards for local chapters, Blood Services regions and military stations. Among Red Cross emergency services for servicemembers is the delivery of urgent family messages – one every 22 seconds.

To learn how to become a Red Cross volunteer, call (202) 639-3520 or visit www.redcross.org.

How Can I Donate Blood to the Military?

America’s Blood Centers, (888) 872-5663

American Red Cross, (800) 448-3543

Am I Eligible to Donate Blood?

To give blood, you must be healthy, at least 17 years old, weigh more than 110 pounds and have not donated in the past 60 days. Donors older than 65 might need permission from a blood center’s medical director. “Healthy” can be considered as feeling well and able to perform normal daily activities. If you have a chronic condition, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, “healthy” means you are being treated and the condition is under control. Only 5 percent of those who are eligible to donate blood do so. All Americans are encouraged to inquire about their eligibility.

Temporary deferrals can be made for the donor’s safety or to protect the patient receiving blood. A willing donor can be turned away for several reasons, including being underweight, pregnancy, recent immunization, cold or flu, recent major surgery or recent travel in a tropical country. Some conditions, such as high blood pressure or kidney disease, may result in ineligibility.

A normal donation of one unit equals about a pint of blood. The donor’s blood volume begins to be restored immediately. Complete restoration of body fluid comes within 24 hours. Full replacement of red blood cells takes place within two weeks. Current standards set an eight-week interval between donations and limit donations to no more than five times a year.