My fundraiser: Veterans & Children Foundation

During meetings of the National Executive Committee (NEC) last month in Indianapolis, the NEC approved to have the 1925-established American Legion Endowment Fund do business under a name that more accurately reflects its mission – The American Legion Veterans & Children Foundation. The foundation will renew our commitment to children by delivering Temporary Financial Assistance to those in need, and it will provide expert assistance for service officers to help veterans and their families.

A $25 million fundraising goal for The American Legion Veterans & Children Foundation is underway, and I have made it my fundraising program until the end of February 2019.

Support is already pouring in as American Legion Charities, a nonprofit trust fund that directs donations to programs and services of the organization, presented a $500,000 check to the Veterans & Children Foundation to kick off the campaign. Hats and helmets were passed across the NEC room on Oct. 17, generating another $2,415, which also included a $5,000 check from the Department of Massachusetts.

All contributions to The American Legion Veterans & Children Foundation flow directly to the organization’s Temporary Financial Assistance program and Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation efforts, primarily training for the 3,000 American Legion service officers who work free-of-charge to help veterans and families understand their health-care benefits, education and employment opportunities.

Between 2012 and 2016, the Temporary Financial Assistance program awarded $4.2 million in cash grants – an average of over $842,000 per year – to military and veteran families with minor children at home that have encountered unexpected financial crises. In 2017, 933 minor children of 443 veterans received $588,434 in cash grants, including 68 children of 31 veterans whose lives were rocked by hurricanes and floods.

Tax-deductible contributions to the American Legion Veterans & Children’s Foundation can be made by visiting
 www.legion.org/donate. Payments by check can be made payable to American Legion Veterans & Children Foundation. Address is P.O. Box 361626, Indianapolis, IN 46236-1626.

I know we can and will reach the $25 million goal as this foundation speaks to our mission of helping military and veteran families in need, and helping former servicemembers receive the benefits they have earned.