Commander's fundraising goal still attainable

While Rachel’s husband was deployed for the second time, her only form of transportation for their three young children broke down. After making the costly repairs to the vehicle, little money was left at the end of the month to pay for household expenses. The American Legion’s Temporary Financial Assistance (TFA) program was there to support Rachel and her children, and honor her husband’s service by paying for their mortgage, electricity and gas bill.

Rachel is one of thousands of eligible military spouses, servicemembers and veterans with children who have benefited from the Legion’s TFA program. Since January, TFA has provided more than $238,000 in cash grants that have helped 158 families with 336 minor children maintain basic needs such as shelter, utilities, clothing, food and medical care. And since its inception 92 years ago, TFA has awarded more than $15 million in cash grants to aid veterans and their minor children.

American Legion National Commander Charles E. Schmidt’s fundraising project is to raise $1 million for TFA during his tenure as national commander, which comes to a close in August during the organization’s 99th National Convention in Reno, Nev.

American Legion service officers are also part of Schmidt’s fundraising project, and his goal is to raise another $1 million for service officer training. Today, nearly 3,000 American Legion service officers help more than 700,000 veterans and their families file disability claims and apply for VA benefits and other forms of assistance, free of charge.

“Both programs depend on charitable contributions to offer the free assistance. That’s why I have made service officer training and TFA the focus of my fundraising project,” Schmidt said.

To support either of these great programs – TFA and service officer training – visit www.legion.org/donate and select “Commander’s Fund.” Then, under the "Program Designation" tab, select "Commander's Charity Fund."

Or send a check to American Legion Charities (put “Commander’s Fund” on the memo line) and mail it to The American Legion, 5745 Lee Road, Indianapolis, IN 46216. The fund has 501(c)(3) status and all money raised goes directly to the programs.