Storm damage on St. John, Virgin Islands on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018. Photo by Clay Lomneth/The American Legion

Legion's NEF, TFA ready to support victims affected by floods

Several states such as Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and Kentucky are facing severe flooding after heavy rain and storms ravaged through the South and Midwest. Additionally, counties in California, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont are under a federal disaster declaration after severe storms and mudslides in late 2017. Assistance for those affected by these natural disasters is needed, and The American Legion is ready to help.

The American Legion's National Emergency Fund (NEF) provides immediate financial grants to American Legion posts and eligible members of The American Legion and Sons of The American Legion affected by natural disasters, such as tornadoes, flooding, hurricanes and wildfires. Individuals can receive NEF grants of up to $3,000 while posts can receive up to $10,000. In 2017, NEF provided $367,375 in grants.

NEF covers expenses such as temporary housing, food, water, clothing and other daily household items. To qualify for an NEF grant, an applicant must:

  • have been displaced from his or her primary residence due to damage sustained during a declared natural disaster;

  • provide copies of receipts of items required to meet immediate needs, such as temporary housing, food, water, clothing, diapers, etc.; and

  • be an active member of The American Legion or Sons of The American Legion at the time of the disaster.

To apply for NEF assistance, click here.

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.

"Natural disasters negatively affect our communities year-round and while not all gain national media coverage and draw attention to those in need, people's lives are being affected in these devasted communities. And they need our help," said American Legion National Commander Denise H. Rohan. "It is critical to help posts, Legion Family members and veterans and their families recover from natural disasters. Through the National Emergency Fund and Temporary Financial Assistance, we can make recovery efforts possible for families in need.”

American Legion Temporary Financial Assistance (TFA) is Rohan's fundraising project. TFA grants help families in need meet the cost of shelter, food, utilities, clothing, and health expenses. For example, during a natural disaster where a family has lost a home or it's been severely damaged, TFA can help cover the cost of temporary housing.

TFA grants are available to children (17 years or younger) of active-duty servicemembers or American Legion members. No child can be considered eligible until a complete investigation is conducted at the post or department level, a legitimate family need is determined, and all other available assistance resources have been utilized or exhausted.

For additional TFA information on eligibility requirements and how to apply, visit www.legion.org/financialassistance.

To support NEF and TFA through donations, click here.