NEF goal: $1 million

When I was elected your national commander during The American Legion’s 97th national convention in Baltimore on Sept. 3, I announced that the National Emergency Fund (NEF) would be my primary fundraising effort. And that was a decision made from personal experience.

A few years ago there was (Hurricane) Katrina that hit our Gulf Coast. The NEF was there to provide support.

The NEF provides up to $10,000 in grants to Legion posts and $3,000 to individual Legion Family members impacted by natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and wildfires. Since its inception, the fund has provided more than $8 million in direct financial assistance; every cent donated goes directly to helping the fund’s recipients.

Legionnaires, posts and family members will need assistance as they recover from a tragedy. NEF grants help Legion Family members pay bills, such as temporary housing, food and clothes, while they wait for insurance money to kick in. NEF grants also help posts rebuild after disasters.

I want to ensure that we can raise $1 million or more for NEF. There’s money in the fund right now, but we need to make sure we have enough money there that if an emergency happens – and I hope it doesn’t happen during my year as your national commander – that we’re there to help people in need because that’s what we’re about.

One hundred percent of donations to NEF go toward grants for Legionnaires, posts and family members who are dealing with the after-effects of an emergency situation. All marketing and promotional costs are paid out of a separate fund by National Headquarters.

For more information about NEF, visit And under Internal Affairs on the Legion's publication web page,, download the NEF media brochures that provide department and post leaders on best practices to follow before, during and after an emergency.