Use your numbers to engage communities

Nationwide, and around the world, The American Legion calculates its impact in the millions. Millions of hours in volunteer service at VA health-care facilities. Millions of children who have been helped. And millions of dollars distributed to fulfill needs in local areas for disabled veterans, needy families, first responders and students who have earned American Legion scholarships. And that’s just a fraction of our impact.

With only 66 percent of the organization’s 12,800 local posts reporting, more than $3.1 million in emergency financial aid was distributed by The American Legion last year alone. Contributions to VA health-care facilities were no less than $1.4 million. More than 3.8 million hours and over $3.9 million in financial contributions were reported for community-service activities.

Those impact numbers represent real people, real differences and real impact for millions. It’s vital that we take our performance metrics outside the walls of our local posts and into the local communities, and the timing is perfect as we prepare to celebrate our 100th anniversary. I strongly encourage post and district leaders to request agenda time at their school board, city council, chamber of commerce and civic group meetings to share these numbers, and our story.

National impact numbers that come from the annual American Legion Consolidated Post Report can be found at www.legion.org/bythenumbers.

Posts can present their own numbers of scholarships, flag education activities, community-service hours, troop-support efforts, veteran employment events, VA volunteer commitments and ceremonies to honor fallen heroes – and more – to present to local audiences.

This is all about personal engagement. The American Legion does so much that can be tallied in the hundreds and thousands at the local level, that add up to millions nationally. We know it. But we need communities and potential American Legion members to understand it, too.

As part of my Team 100 campaign, let’s elevate awareness of The American Legion and strengthen membership during the organization’s centennial year. #Team100