On Jan. 25, the longest government shutdown came to an end, stopping what had been more than a three-week gap since more than 41,000 active-duty members of the U.S. Coast Guard had been paid. The American Legion’s Temporary Financial Assistance (TFA) program was able to provide more than $1 million in non-repayable grants to approximately 1,713 Coast Guard families with 3,170 children.
TFA grants, like the ones distributed to Coast Guard families affected by the shutdown, are made possible through donations to The American Legion Veterans and Children Foundation at www.legion.org/donate. The foundation supports veterans and military families in need, as well as American Legion service officers who provide free VA benefits and health care assistance to veterans.
But across the nation, American Legion Family members also did their part to assist local Coast Guardsmen, raising funds, providing free meals and delivering much-needed household items and gift cards to those servicemembers. There were many Legion Family members who stepped up to help, and the following are a just a few of the many. See the entire list here.
California. In Vallejo, American Legion Post 550 presented $2,000 in $50 gift cards to members of U.S. Coast Guard Station Vallejo. Post 550 also helped facilitate 50 Coast Guardsmen applying for American Legion Temporary Financial Assistance.
Georgia. Post 184’s Legion Family in Savannah collected funds and food for Coast Guardsmen, forming collection spots along the street using buckets and boots.
Maine. A breakfast fundraiser hosted by Post 36 in Boothbay Harbor raised $2,000 for members of the Coast Guard. And members of Post 35 in South Portland collected more than $800 for members of the Coast Guard’s Sector Northern New England, which serves Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.
Michigan. Post 217 in Wyandotte purchased 33 $100 Visa gift cards to distribute to all the personnel at Coast Guard Sector Detroit. Post 217’s American Legion Family also helped provide food, laundry detergent, personal hygiene items, diapers, paper products, juices and other items.
In Marysville, Post 449 collected non-perishable foods and toiletries, and gift cards from Kroger, Meijer and gas stations to distribute to members of the Coast Guard.
Pennsylvania. Post 903 in Tannersville spent nearly $1,000 on clothing, toiletries, baby diapers and more for members of the Coast Guard in Philadelphia.
South Carolina. American Legion Post 114 in Georgetown teamed with other veterans service organizations to collect food, gift cards and monetary donations.
Virginia. American Legion Post 52’s Legion Family in Newport News still hosted a free homemade meal on Jan. 27 for Coast Guard members and their families.
Washington. In Port Townsend, Post 26 hosted a meal for the crew of the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Osprey. And they have collected more than $2,000 to support the Coast Guard.