American Legion Charities was launched as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit trust in 2010 to allow American Legion Family members and friends to contribute to the overall organization and its many services or choose a specific program to support. American Legion Charities provides direct support and assistance to veterans, military personnel, families and communities.
Donors have the ability to select the pillar that best suits them, or all of the pillars, depending on their wishes. The following illustrate several of the programs and services supported by American Legion Charities.
n The American Legion Veterans & Children Foundation. This foundation provides immediate support for military and veteran parents, with children at home, who are facing unforeseen financial hardships. The foundation also funds expert, free-of-charge assistance to veterans and families working to understand and receive government benefits they are due. The foundation’s parent is the 1925-established American Legion Endowment Fund, which has provided tens of millions of dollars in emergency help to qualified, struggling military and veteran families and has supported tens of thousands of American Legion service officers over the years.
The American Legion’s National Emergency Fund (NEF). NEF directs immediate cash grants to American Legion Family members and Legion posts whose lives have been turned upside-down due to natural disasters. The fund, created in response to Hurricane Hugo in 1989, has provided more than $8 million in direct financial assistance – up to $3,000 for qualified American Legion Family members and up to $10,000 for posts.
Child Welfare Foundation (CWF). Created by The American Legion in 1954, the Child Welfare Foundation awards grants to nonprofit organizations nationwide that contribute to the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs of children and youth. Since 1955, more than $13 million in CWF grants have been awarded.
Operation Comfort Warriors (OCW). OCW was established in 2007 to provide relief for active-duty military personnel recovering from wounds and illnesses at VA health-care facilities and transition units, purchase and deliver items not normally provided by the federal government, such as art and sports therapy equipment, and provide recreational opportunities and entertainment for recovering warriors and their families.
The American Legion Legacy Scholarship Fund. The Legacy Fund awards financial aid for youth whose parents have died on active duty since 9/11, or who have received VA disability rating of 50 percent or greater. Each needs-based scholarship provides up to $20,000 in aid for undergraduate or post-graduate college education. Since the Legacy Scholarship’s first grant in 2004, 366 military children of the fallen and disabled have received over $4.4 million in aid.
Donations to American Legion Charities are tax-deductible. To donate, please visit www.legion.org/donate.