When American Legion Post 355 Adjutant Guy Clemons called National Membership Engagement Coordinator Michele Steinmetz in early May, he asked if she was sitting down for the news he was about to share.
The Indianapolis post had visited National Headquarters in April to make a $5,000 donation to the National Emergency Fund (NEF). Now, the post wanted to make an even greater donation to NEF – $50,000.
“It’s nice to be giving money back,” Clemons said during the check presentation June 6 on the fourth floor of National Headquarters. “That’s what we’re here for, to help our brothers and sisters. That’s what we feel like we’re doing.”
The $50,000 donation was brought forth at a recent membership meeting and passed unanimously. Those who attended the April donation were so appreciative of the kindness shown to them by national staff that they left the building in downtown Indianapolis inspired to give more. “We hadn’t even gotten to the truck yet and we said, ‘We need to give them more money,’” Clemons said.
The combined $55,000 donation by Post 355 in only two months will help the National Emergency Fund provide financial assistance to qualified Legionnaires, posts and Sons of The American Legion members impacted by a declared natural disaster. Legionnaires and Sons receive up to $3,000 and posts receive up to $10,000. Learn more about the NEF here.
The $50,000 check was presented by Post 355 Commander Dwayne Sloan to National Treasurer Shawn Long and National Vice Commander Kenneth C. Hylton of Indiana in the National Executive Room at National Headquarters. Sloan said the ability to give such a significant grant “feels really good. It’s great the money goes 100 percent to the veterans and families, and to the posts.”
In appreciation of their generous donation, Hylton presented Post 355 members with a framed certificate of appreciation, and a National Commander Vincent J. “Jim” Troiola pen, challenge coin and lapel pin. The post also received a print of the Legion’s centennial lithograph, titled “Legacy and Vision,” created by Texas artist Matt Hall that depicts a World War I doughboy and a post-9/11 generation warrior gazing at each other on a battlefield under The American Legion emblem. The poster is signed by the artist and National Commander Troiola.
“This is all to help veterans and the veteran families and American Legion posts that get hit by disaster,” Sloan said. “That’s why we want to do it.”