The most active Atlantic hurricane season on record led to The American Legion’s National Emergency Fund (NEF) nearly doubling the amount of money distributed in emergency grants from 2019 to 2020.
The NEF provided over $160,000 in grants to American Legion and Sons of The American Legion members, and Legion posts, in 2020. The year before, the NEF distributed approximately $90,000 in grants to help Legion and SAL members, and Legion posts impacted by natural disasters.
Of the 30 named storms during the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, a record 12 made landfall in the United States, including six hurricanes. Out of 93 total NEF grants distributed in 2020, 51 were for hurricane-related damages in Texas, Louisiana and Alabama.
A 6.4 magnitude earthquake on Jan. 7, 2020, in Puerto Rico, prompted 19 NEF grants. Grants were also approved to help those affected by flooding in Mississippi, Michigan, North Carolina, and Illinois; derechos in Iowa; wildfires in California; and tornadoes in Mississippi and Tennessee.
Among the beneficiaries of an NEF grant in 2020 was Barfield-Pease-Rimmer American Legion Post 67 in Canton, Miss., which was flooded by the Pearl River on Feb. 14 and sustained further damage in a hailstorm on March 4.
Post Commander Tommy Bryant was grateful for the NEF grant the post received to help rebuild.
“We’ve donated to the (NEF) nearly every year. We see it really works (now that we’re a recipient). I’d rather be giving though then receiving,” Bryant said.
National Emergency Fund
The American Legion’s National Emergency Fund (NEF) is available to help American Legion members and posts, and Sons of The American Legion members, who have been impacted by natural disasters.
The NEF provides up to $3,000 for Legion and SAL members with an active membership who have been displaced due to damages to their primary residence, and up to $10,000 for posts that have been damaged by a natural disaster and whose programs and activities within the community are impacted. To apply for an NEF grant, please visit www.legion.org/emergency.
Since its creation in 1989 in response to the devastation of Hurricane Hugo, the NEF has provided more than $8 million in direct financial assistance to American Legion and SAL members and American Legion posts.
Donations are also accepted to fund the NEF. One hundred percent of donations to the NEF directly help veterans and their families recover from natural disasters. To donate to the NEF, click here.