Let our numbers be known

Let our numbers be known

Dear American Legion Family and Friends,

American Legion members around the world logged no less than 13,775,339 volunteer community-service hours in the 2021-22 membership year. I say “no less” because only about 67% of our more than 12,200 local posts submitted reports for the year.

Legionnaires also raised more than $10.7 million for local charities, in addition to the dollars put to work for the National Emergency Fund, Legacy Scholarships, the Veterans & Children Foundation and simply to provide cash assistance – nearly $1 million – for local VA hospitals.

Consolidated Post Reports are the mechanism we use to measure The American Legion’s impact in local communities. We simply count and report the hours, dollars and numbers of participants to show in quantifiable ways how our organization lives up to its motto of “Veterans Strengthening America.”

The CPR is how we know that more than 3,700 posts conducted Buddy Check operations in 2020 and 2021. The report quantifies flag-education activities, Scouting sponsorships, jobs obtained for veterans and their families, units of blood donated (nearly 74,000 in 2021-22, a good year, by the way), Veterans Day events, American Legion Boys State participants and many other forms of service.

It all adds up, and it adds up to a lot, even when over 30% of posts don’t send in their numbers.

The CPR is not just another report to send to National Headquarters. It is a tool that can be used in local and state media to show how posts or departments fulfill important responsibilities, from disaster relief plans to nonpartisan “Get Out the Vote” activities.

National Headquarters posts highlights from the CPRs in the “By the Numbers” section of the national website, and often uses CPRs as a source for the monthly Membership Impact Reports. These figures are quoted in testimony before Congress and submitted as part of our federal charter reporting responsibility.

I strongly encourage all members to keep track of their hours, dollars and community members assisted and keep a running tally through the year on MyLegion.org or by using a fillable PDF document, saving it and sending it to Headquarters at the end of the year.

Especially now, with Veterans Day coming right up, Legionnaires everywhere will be performing great duties, inviting the public to ceremonies and sharing the ways in which they are strengthening the nation, one community at a time. This is truly a time to shine, but no will know about it if we don’t report it.

The American Legion story can’t always be told in numbers alone, but they really do make a difference when we talk about measurable performance – so often counted in the millions and tens of millions – when others may wonder what it is we do and how that all adds up to Veterans Strengthening America.

Consolidated American Legion Post Reports and Sons of The American Legion Consolidated Squadron Reports for the year ending June 30, 2023, are now posted on MyLegion.org and ready for completion and submission by the Aug. 31, 2023, deadline.

National Commander

Vincent J. “Jim” Troiola