Photo by Eric Kruszewski for The American Legion

$744,620 in grants distributed by American Legion in 2018

Through The American Legion's National Emergency Fund (NEF), Temporary Financial Assistance (TFA) and Operation Comfort Warriors (OCW) program, military and veterans' families are assisted following the aftermath of natural disasters, during times of financial need, and when recovering from various wounds and illnesses.

In 2018 alone, these three American Legion programs provided more than $744,620 in assistance.

TFA awarded $228,975 in cash grants, benefitting 376 minor children of 179 veterans. The grants help eligible veterans, with minor children, meet the cost of shelter, utilities, food, clothing and medical expenses. TFA grants are made possible by the support and generosity of the Legion Family and donations to The America Legion Veterans and Children Foundation.

The Veterans and Children Foundation supports veterans and military families in need, as well as American Legion service officers who provide free VA benefits and health care assistance to veterans.

NEFawarded $250,178 in grants to 78 Legion Family members and 22 posts nationwide who were affected by a natural disaster. A recent NEF contribution of $20,000 from American Legion Post 510 in Laceyville, Pa., was earmarked to support victims of the Camp Fire in California and Hurricane Florence in North and South Carolina. The significant donation came after post members read an article in the October issue of The American Legion Magazine about the need for NEF donations to continuing supporting victims of natural disasters.

“We feel privileged to be able to have what we have and just want to share it with others in need,” said Post 510 member Ron Dobranski.

OCWprovided $265,469 in grants that aided veterans and their immediate family members across the nation and overseas. OCW is a program dedicated to meeting the needs of wounded, injured and ill military personnel and veterans by providing recreational, rehabilitative, therapeutic and comfort items. One hundred percent of donations go toward the program.

OCW provided 26 grants this year. A few include:

  • $50,000 grant to the Department of Veterans Affairs to help supply 1,000 new baby welcome kits to women veterans at 60 VA medical centers across the country.

  • $30,000 in Walmart and Home Depot gifts cards to help VA patients in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands continue their recovery efforts following Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

  • A custom-fitted all-terrain trike for U.S. Army and Air Force veteran Michael Bacon who suffered a moderate traumatic brain injury during an IED explosion in Iraq in 2006. The trike will allow him to resume riding with his 14-year-old daughter.

  • More than $58,000 in recreational and rehabilitation equipment, clothing, health and hygiene products to support veterans recovering in VA facilities.

To support The American Legion Veterans and Children Foundation, Operation Comfort Warriors and National Emergency Fund programs through an online donation, visit www.legion.org/donate.