American Legion Post 118 in Rio Rancho, N.M., has been closed since the onset of COVID-19 last spring. Mandates by local and state governments caused many American Legion posts to shut their doors for extended periods. This was for the health and safety of everyone, and to help prevent the spread of the virus.
These closures limited member and community outreach efforts, resulting in a loss of revenue for the posts as Post 118 has felt. As the post continues to pay monthly building expenses without its more than 600 members able to use it, the insurance bill was also due – a significant expense that had Post 118 Commander William Jennings worried about finding the means to pay.
Financial relief came to Jennings with a grant from The American Legion’s Mission Blue Post Assistance Program.
“The $1,000 that the National American Legion sent us allowed us to make that payment to keep our insurance active. It will keep us going to May,” Jennings said. “The grant came at a really good time. We really needed it.”
The American Legion’s Mission Blue Post Assistance Program is available to help provide financial relief to posts affected by the pandemic. The program provides up to $1,000 in grants to posts that are in good standing with their respective department and meet the qualifying criteria (see below). These funds must be used exclusively to pay current or past due rent, mortgage, utilities and insurance premiums.
The Mission Blue Post Assistance Program went into effect following the approval of Resolution No. 36 by the National Executive Committee during Fall Meetings in October 2020. Funds for the approved grants are provided through The American Legion National Emergency Fund.
To date, the program has provided $186,000 in grants to 186 American Legion posts. The grant checks are turned around in 24 hours after receipt and approval, and mailed to the post's respective department.
GRANT APPLICATION QUALIFICATION
Download the Mission Blue Post Assistance Program application. To be eligible to apply, posts must have:
1. A Consolidated Post Report on file at National Headquarters.
2. Filed an IRS 990 within the prescribed due date.
3. Filed all other required forms and reports as prescribed by the department.
4. Actively participated in one or more American Legion programs within the last 18 months.
5. A financial need.
6. A certificate of insurance for all liability coverage naming The American Legion doing business as (dba) The American Legion National Headquarters and the post’s department as an additional insured.(Submit declaration page showing coverage)
7. Documentation indicating that the post is properly incorporated.
(Note: Department commanders and/or adjutants must certify the applicant meets the criteria.)
IMPORTANT APPLICATION NOTES
- Send grant application to department headquarters. American Legion posts must send the application grant request to their respective department. They are not to be sent directly to National Headquarters. This delays the grant.
- Proper format on liability insurance. A common error has been the mixing of department and national name, as well as address, on the Certificate of Liability Insurance Declaration. Please ensure you use the following format for the National certificate holder:
The American Legion dba The American Legion National Headquarters
700 N. Pennsylvania St./PO Box 1055
Indianapolis, IN 46206
- Employer Identification Number (EIN). Make sure the EIN is on the Legion’s national database.
- Consolidated Post Report. A post's annual CPR must be on file at National Headquarters as a grant application requirement.