More than $60 million for children and youth
The 2023 American Legion Samsung Scholars visit Capitol Hill in early March 2024. More than $7.2 million in American Legion Samsung Scholarships has been awarded since then.

More than $60 million for children and youth

The American Legion’s commitment to children and youth can be counted in the tens of millions. Under the organization’s two major grant programs (Child Welfare Foundation and Temporary Financial Assistance) and its portfolio of youth scholarships, more than $60 million has been invested in young people by the nation’s largest veterans organization.

And while April is Children & Youth Month in The American Legion, that support runs year-round with programs, activities, grants and scholarships that make differences for tens of thousands of young people each year.

The American Legion Child Welfare Foundation, which awards grants to organizations that contribute to the physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing of children facing challenges beyond their control, has provided $20,683,892.50 in funding since its inception in 1954.

The Legion’s Temporary Financial Assistance program, which provides cash grants to qualified military and veteran families facing financial emergencies, has delivered $17,980,894.43 since 1926, including more than $5.4 million over the last decade alone. TFA grants are awarded to qualified families with minor children at home that are facing financial crises that threaten the stability of their homes.

National American Legion scholarships have been awarded to no less than 6,941 young people pursuing higher education – most of which have been presented over the last 25 years.

The American Legion Samsung Scholarship, awarded to descendants of U.S. military veterans who have gone on to participate in American Legion Boys State or American Legion Auxiliary Girls State, tops the list with $7,206,500 in scholarships awarded since 1996 to 2,333 students.

National American Legion Oratorical Contest competitors have received $6,424,500 in scholarships since 1938, when the contest went national. Nearly 3,000 students have earned that college assistance by learning the U.S. Constitution and demonstrating their ability to speak fluently about its meaning to the nation.

American Legion Eagle Scout of the Year scholarships have been awarded to 149 recipients, to the tune of $622,500 since 1983. American Legion Baseball scholarships since 1986 have amounted to $262,500, plus another $295,000 for American Legion Baseball Academic Team scholarships. American Legion Boys Nation scholarships: $201,544.50 to 92 participants since 1978. National American Legion Junior Shooting Sports competitors have earned $155,000 in scholarships since 1996.

Altogether, the amount in American Legion national grants and scholarships for youth come conservatively to $60,071,174.43 over the years, and that does not count the millions in financial assistance provided at the local level by American Legion posts each year. In 2023, that came to $12,752,340.35, assisting 3,359 young people in local communities, according to the most recent Consolidated Post Report.

Funding for the grants and scholarships comes almost entirely through individual contributions. For the Temporary Financial Assistance Program, donations can be made to the American Legion Veterans & Children Foundation. Donors can select youth programs of their choice for contributions through American Legion Charities. And contributors to the Child Welfare Foundation can make their gifts safely and securely online.