A row of Pratt City, Ala., apartments destroyed by an EF-5 tornado April 27. More than 30 Pratt City residents died. Photo by James V. Carroll

NEF steps in for affected Legionnaires

State and federal agencies, as well as The Red Cross, Salvation Army and other civic agencies and organizations have mobilized to assist the tornado and flood victims. Among these is The American Legion.

Three weeks after the deadly tornadoes leveled parts of Tuscaloosa, Pratt City, Pleasant Grove, Huey Town, Berry and countless other northwest Alabama communities, residents continue their efforts to salvage what’s left of their homes and lives. Many remain jobless, homeless and in need of assistance. And The American Legion is ready to help in that effort, said Alabama Legionnaire F. Wayne Turner.

“Many Legionnaires here in Alabama and across the country who have been victims of natural disasters are eligible for financial assistance from The American Legion National Emergency Fund,” Turner said. “American Legion and Sons of The American Legion members whose membership is active at the time of the disaster and at the time of application may be eligible for NEF assistance.”

The American Legion National Emergency Fund was created to compassionately heal the wounds of catastrophe. It has provided over $6 million in direct financial assistance to Legion family members and posts. The National Emergency Fund has kept posts from closing and enabled Legion family members to begin to rebuild their homes and their lives.

“The Preamble to The American Legion Constitution says it best, ‘…devotion to mutual helpfulness,’” American Legion National Commander Jimmie L. Foster said. “This phrase is more than just mere words on paper; it’s our pledge of support to our distressed comrades. Since the early 1920s, The American Legion has been actively involved in meeting the needs of both the community and individual Legion family members in the wake of disaster. It is who we are. It is what we do.”

Eligible members may receive up to $1,500, and Legion posts may apply for up to $5,000 in emergency assistance. Applicants must have been displaced from their primary residence due to a declared natural disaster and provide proof of out-of-pocket expenses, including, but not limited to, temporary housing, food, water and clothing.

However, the NEF is not intended to replace or repair items, or cover losses to equipment or vehicles. It does not cover insurance compensation or monetary losses from a business or structures on property such as barns, tools or sheds.

Detailed information and an application for NEF assistance may be downloaded by clicking here. For more information, call customer service at (800) 433-3318.

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