The Preamble to The American Legion Constitution sums up the theme of the National Endowment Fund, "... devotion to mutual helpfulness." This phrase is more than just mere words on paper; it's our pledge of support to Legionnaires and their family members. Since the early 1920s, The American Legion has been actively involved in meeting the needs of both the community and individual Legion Family members in the wake of disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and wildfires.
The National Emergency Fund, created in response to Hurricane Hugo in 1989, has provided more than $8 million in direct financial assistance to American Legion Family members and posts. By providing this emergency funding, NEF has prevented damaged posts from closing and enabled American Legion Family members to recover from tragedy.
NEF helps those affected by well-known disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy and lesser-publicized tragedies such as flooding in South Dakota or Illinois, or wildfires in the southwest.
The fund provides up to $3,000 for qualified Legion Family members and up to $10,000 for posts. The eligibility requirements are:
- Applicant must have been displaced from his or her primary residence due to a declared natural disaster.
- Applicant must provide copies of receipts of items required to meet immediate needs such as temporary housing, food, water, clothing, diapers, etc.
- Membership must be active at time of disaster and the time of application.