Heavy rain and severe flooding is ravaging Houston in the wake of Harvey, a category 4 hurricane that is affecting more than six million people, including American Legion Family members. And the Legion is ready to assist those in need.
The American Legion’s National Emergency Fund (NEF) provides immediate financial assistance to Legion Family members and posts affected by natural disasters such as tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires and flooding. The fund provides up to $3,000 for qualified Legion Family members and up to $10,000 for posts.
The NEF covers expenses such as temporary housing, food, water, clothing and other daily household items.
In order to qualify for an NEF grant, an applicant must:
Have been displaced from his or her primary residence due to a declared natural disaster.
Provide copies of receipts of items required to meet immediate needs, such as temporary housing, food, water, clothing, diapers, etc.
Be an active member of the Legion at the time of the disaster.
To apply for assistance click here or call the Texas American Legion headquarters at (512) 472-4138. American Legion departments wishing to offer assistance, please email Texas Commander John Hince at firstname.lastname@example.org
And to donate to the NEF, click here.
Nearly $9 million has been provided to Legion Family members and posts through the NEF since its inception. All contributions made to the NEF are used to meet urgent needs of Legion Family members.
Also, NEF media brochures are available for download under Internal Affairs on the Legion’s publication web page, www.legion.org/publications, to help department and post leaders on best practices to follow before, during and after an emergency. The brochures describe how to set up an NEF response team, locate affected Legion Family members, assist victims in filling out NEF applications and generate good public relations. NEF applications are also included.
“During times of crisis, families come together. Right now, priority one is saving lives,” said American Legion National Commander Denise Rohan. “To all the people of Texas, The American Legion offers its support and prayers to the victims and the first responders in harm’s way."
While the NEF provides immediate assistance to Legion Family members, qualified children of Legion-eligible veterans may receive assistance through the Legion’s Temporary Financial Assistance (TFA) program – the fundraising project of Rohan's during her tenure as national commander.
TFA grants can provide a lifeline to veteran families in need during times like these as they help meet the costs of shelter, food, utilities and health expenses. During disasters where a family has lost a home or it’s been severely damaged, TFA could be used to help cover mortgage costs while that family pays for temporary housing.
TFA is limited to minor children (18 years or younger) whose biological parent, or legal guardian, is a veteran and is, or would have been, eligible for American Legion membership. However, Legion membership is not required to receive a TFA grant.
Those wishing to apply for a TFA grant must contact their local Legion post. To find a post in your area, click here.