Patients at the Children's Hospital & Medical Center in Omaha, Neb., received GI Josh Dogs from American Legion family members last April. (Photo courtesy of Karl Frederickson)

Celebrate Children & Youth Month

The American Legion has celebrated "April is Children & Youth Month" for the past 76 years by supporting and promoting its national theme – "Children... Our Most Precious Natural Resource." During this month of celebration, American Legion family members are encouraged to show their local communities the Legion’s commitment to young people by hosting youth activities or by becoming involved in programs and organizations that support young people.

For example, last year during April, Sons of The American Legion Squadron 331 in Omaha, Neb., donated 186 GI Josh Dog gift sets to patients at the local Children’s Hospital & Medical Center. The squadron raised nearly $7,000 to purchase the GI Josh Dog gift sets, which featured a golden retriever toy dog, a dog house and a book called "I’ll Be O.k." Squadron 331 members and several other Legion family members delivered the dogs to every child at the hospital to bring them comfort, security and compansionship during their road to recovery.

For ideas on how to support and promote Children & Youth Month in your community, download a copy of the "April is Children & Youth Month" brochure. Legion family members can promote Children & Youth Month awareness through their local newspapers, radio and TV stations, civic groups, schools, social media, and in conversations with other veterans and their families. Communities need to know that American Legion services are available and why young people matter so much to us.