The NEF: Veterans helping veterans

The earthquake that leveled Haiti, devastating its infrastructure and changing the future of its people, is a cold reminder that we are forever at the mercy of Mother Nature. All of our technology matters little when a flood, snowstorm, hurricane or wildfire strikes.

That's why, in their wisdom, Legionnaires decades ago created the National Emergency Fund to serve as a mechanism to provide for fellow Legionnaires affected by natural catastrophes. A major disaster can strike at any time; while the NEF can't stop that, it can make dealing with the disaster a little easier.

The money for the fund comes directly from you, the Legion family member. Administrative costs are covered by national headquarters; every penny donated to the fund goes directly toward helping a fellow Legionnaire or post.If you have any doubts that the fund makes a difference, just look at how much was disbursed when Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma devastated the Gulf Coast in 2005. The National Emergency Fund was there, processing 2,512 grants totaling more than $2.1 million. Think of the people the donations helped. For many, it was the beginning of a fresh start.

As images on the news serve as constant reminders of how life can go from good to total chaos in an instant, now is as good of a time as any to dig deep and give to the fund. Your donations truly make a difference in the lives of your fellow veterans.

Donations can be made through the mail or online.