The American Legion 100 Miles for Hope came at the right time for Past National Commander Denise Rohan.
As chairman of the Veterans & Children Foundation Steering Committee, Rohan is pleased the proceeds from the 100 Miles challenge benefit the foundation.
“I am excited to be a part of the 100 Miles for Hope to benefit the Veterans & Children Foundation,” she said. “The foundation helps out with families that are in situations where they need an extra hand. During this time with COVID, there are families that don’t have the luxury of having grandparents nearby, especially our military families who could be stationed anywhere. When a family needs help, these funds are available through The American Legion Veterans & Children Foundation. That’s part of what the 100 Miles for Hope is all about.”
The foundation allocates funds to military families with young children in need through its Temporary Financial Assistance (TFA) program. The V&CF also funds the work of accredited American Legion department service officers. Through the foundation, service officers receive updates training to help process claims on behalf of veterans who are seeking help to get their VA benefits.
Mike Rohan points out TFA, through the foundation, came to the rescue in January 2019 when the government shut down, leaving members of the Coast Guard without paychecks.
“Through the Veterans & Children Foundation, The American Legion stepped in and disbursed $1 million in grants to Coast Guard families in need at that time,” he said. “We worked with the Coast Guard leadership to decide who needed to get paid, to keep their homes, to keep food on their table. to put gas in their car. The foundation stood up and made sure that they were taken care of. We don’t want to see any child going hungry or one who doesn’t have a place to stay with their family. The Veterans and Children Foundation stands up for them every single day.”
Not only does 100 Miles for Hope support disabled veterans and military families, participants enjoy the benefits of physical fitness and mental wellness. (There are two options to sign up, explained here. Register today for only $20 and you will receive a medal for your efforts later this summer.)
Last year, participants walked, ran, cycled swam or covered 100 miles. This year, the number of activities have been broadened to be more inclusive. Participants can log any one of more than 40 activities on an app tracker, or they can add manual entries like riding a motorcycle or gardening, as long as they are for at least 30 minutes in duration.
“The beauty of this year’s 100 Miles for Hope is that anybody can take part,” Denise said, noting she has signed up her grandchildren who are members of the Sons of The American Legion and American Legion Auxiliary. “We are trying to get Scouting programs to take part. We got some of our National Guard folks involved.”
The Rohans are caring for their grandchildren who are doing virtual learning this school year. They are Including activities like baseball, football and soccer as part of the physical education classes.
“We’re just busy doing gardening and other whatever activities to be part of the 100 Miles for Hope,” she said. “The goal is to be active and that is what we are trying our best to do. Their phys ed teacher loves it when we’re reporting that we walked three miles. It’s keeping them active.”
Mike, consultant to the Marketing Commission of The American Legion, said 100 Miles for Hope also provides another lesson.
“They understand what their grandparents are doing in The American Legion and how important it is for us to support veterans and their families and we are doing that through 100 Miles for Hope.”
This year, the goal for the challenge is to raise $300,000 for the foundation.
“We can do this. We can do even more,” Mike said, encouraging everyone to sign up here. “Get moving on your 100 Miles for Hope.”