Active in her community of Fairfield Bay, Ark., Lois Lemke was a longtime volunteer and supporter of the American Legion Auxiliary. A retired accounting clerk, Lemke was married to Raymond Lemke, a veteran of World War II, who passed away in November 2002. The Lemkes had three sons, plus grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Members of Palmer-Roberts American Legion Auxiliary Unit 214 have seen the lives of homeless veterans transformed at the Volunteers of America Veterans Resource Center in Cleveland.
Paula Raney has spent almost 30 years volunteering with the American Legion Auxiliary. After all that time spent serving, Raney knows it is vital to give financially to the ALA’s mission in addition to volunteering.
“It’s not difficult for me to balance between volunteering and giving,” Raney said. “I just do it because it’s the right thing to do. I enjoy doing what I can for this organization, and the giving is just second nature.”
The Pennyroyal Veterans Center in Hopkinsville, Ky., is no stranger to American Legion Auxiliary Fort Campbell Unit 233. The unit has been volunteering at the center each month since the facility opened its doors in 2012.
From volunteering at her American Legion Auxiliary unit’s veteran bingo night, to accepting a national appointment on the ALA National Security Committee, Sandy Seacat has run the gamut of service opportunities with the Auxiliary over her 28 years of membership.
Dr. Karen Benson saw something unusual as she walked through the halls of Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center Community Living Center in Houston. The group of six or seven veterans that sits passively in this hallway every morning was engaged in a spirited game of Family Feud with the Community Living Center staff.
Guest blog by ALA member Jeri Brooks-Greenwell
This year, our Department of Maine fundraising focus was to raise money for the purchase of Stryker Transport Chairs to present to our U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Hospital Volunteer Service Department.
A 15-year American Legion Auxiliary member and 3-year member of the American Legion Auxiliary Foundation Board of Directors, Terri Wallace considers herself “Small Town, USA.”
“My personal philosophy is this — we have many members who come from different backgrounds. Some come from well-to-do families and can give big sums to the [American Legion Auxiliary Foundation],” Wallace said. “On the opposite side, some people cannot, so they give their time.”
Art is powerful. It’s a universal language that can bring people together, excite emotion in its audience, and heal wounds in its creators.
This power was particularly evident as a Pearl Harbor survivor painted a picture of the ship he once served on, and his colleagues celebrated his art and paid homage to him and his service at the Jefferson Barracks Medical Center, a branch of the VA St. Louis Health Care System.
Thank you for giving! With your donations, we have been able to help homeless veterans, educate America’s future leaders at ALA Girls Nation, assist ALA members who need help after recent natural disasters — and so much more. We are extremely grateful to those of you who support the American Legion Auxiliary and the ALA Foundation!
ALA Foundation grant helps show appreciation to veterans during Syracuse Veterans Creative Arts Festival
During the annual Veterans Creative Arts Festival in Syracuse, New York, dozens of veterans had the opportunity to display their music, drama, and creative writing talents before an audience at the Syracuse VA Medical Center.
Thanks to a $500 sub grant from the American Legion Auxiliary Foundation, ALA Maryland Unit 296 was able to send three of its Junior members to the ALA Maryland Girls State program.
Four dozen veterans had the opportunity to show off their talents during the 2018 Veterans Creative Arts Festival (VCAF) at the White River Junction VA Hospital in Montpelier, Vt. With the help of a $2,500 American Legion Auxiliary Foundation VCAF grant, the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Vermont was able to buy arts and crafts supplies.
More than three dozen veterans at the Norfolk Veterans Home in Norfolk, Neb., will gain back some comfortability in their lives thanks to a new piece of equipment purchased as part of the ALA District 3 President’s special project benefiting veterans.
More than 100 veterans were equipped with the tools to help them learn new art and music skills while helping develop their self-esteem and feeling of self-worth.
Around 300 veterans showcased their talents during this year’s Veterans Creative Arts Festival (VCAF) at the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Healthcare Center in North Chicago, Ill. After receiving a $2,500 Veterans Creative Arts Festival Grant from the American Legion Auxiliary Foundation, Homer Dahringer Unit 281 purchased art and ceramics supplies for both VCAF and the yearly creative arts program.
Three hundred veterans participated in this year’s Veterans Creative Arts Festival held at the Zablocki Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Milwaukee. Participants showcased their talents in 51 visual and 100 performing arts categories, including oil painting, paint-by-number kits, music, dance, drama, and creative writing.
More than a dozen homeless veterans living at Spring Street Veterans Renaissance in Springfield, Ill., are working with some new tools aimed at helping them successfully integrate back into society. The veterans-only transitional home was recently awarded a $2,584 Veteran Projects Fund grant from the American Legion Auxiliary Foundation.
Veterans residing at the Crawford House in Colorado Springs, Colo., are reaping the benefits of some renovations recently made to their home.
American Legion Auxiliary Foundation grant helps fund art therapy program at North Dakota Veterans Home
Over 100 residents at the North Dakota Veterans Home in Lisbon, N.D., now have a new art therapy program where veterans can express themselves through drawing, painting, ceramics, sculpting, and other visual arts media.
Veterans recognized for their service – ALA Wisconsin Unit 53 hosts Chippewa Valley All Veteran Stand Down event
More than 150 veterans who served from World War II through Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom attended the Chippewa Valley All Veteran Stand Down Event.
ALA Foundation’s Mission Endowment Fund changes lives, provides aspiring young women with firsthand leadership experience
The ALA Foundation Mission Endowment Fund is a permanent fund that holds its principal in perpetuity and pays out the investment earnings each year to be used toward ALA programs like ALA Girls Nation.
ALA California Unit 222 was surprised to receive an anonymous gift of $5,000 specifically designated for an air conditioning unit for their American Legion Family post home. The generous donation was then sub-granted to them by the American Legion Auxiliary Foundation.
The American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) Foundation granted $2,500 to assist White River Junction’s Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) with the local Veterans Creative Arts Festival earlier this year. Veterans Creative Arts Festival (VCAF) grants aid in the wellbeing of veterans by introducing them to art therapy.
Have you ever thought, Grants are just too hard to write; we’ll never get one. “I thought the same thing until I submitted a grant application for the Norfolk Veterans Home through the ALA Foundation,” said Barbara Washburn, National Executive Committee member from Nebraska.
Women veterans and their children received help and hope in 2016 with the support of an American Legion Auxiliary Foundation grant for the Children’s Learning Center project at Women Veterans ADVANCE Center at Cabrillo Villages, in Long Beach, Calif.
ALA Foundation grant offers peace of mind and improved health for Rocky Hill Veterans Home and Hospital residents
More than 500 veterans benefited from the purchase of a clothing label maker and supplies thanks to an American Legion Auxiliary Foundation grant awarded to the ALA Department of Connecticut.
American Legion Auxiliary Foundation Grant Helps Provide Therapeutic Garden for Massachusetts’ Women Veterans
Residents at Cathy’s House, an eight-bed, permanent, supportive/transitional housing program designed for women veterans, enjoy a therapeutic garden provided by a $1,600 grant from the American Legion Auxiliary Foundation and an additional gift of $500 provided by local Winchendon Unit 193.
Warm blankets and towels provide comfort in the hearts of residents at Western Nebraska Veterans Home in Scottsbluff, Neb., thanks to a new blanket warming cabinet made possible with a Veterans Project Fund grant from the American Legion Auxiliary Foundation and donations from the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Nebraska.
In its ninth year, the American Legion Auxiliary Foundation awarded $67,821 in grants to 14 organizations through its Veteran Projects Fund and third-party sub grants.
Personalized and therapeutic music floods the hearts and lifts the spirits of veterans residing at the new Geri-Psych 10-bed ward at Fort Bayard State Veterans Home with the help of a $1,200 grant from the American Legion Auxiliary Foundation and an additional $300 from the American Legion Auxiliary Department of New Mexico.
Jean Willaman Bender was a lifetime resident of North Canton, Ohio. Her great-great-grandfather, Leonard Willaman, was a Revolutionary War solder. Her grandfather, George Willaman, was a Civil War veteran. Charles “Chuck” F. Bender was from nearby Greentown, Ohio. Chuck served in the U.S. Army in Korea, and Jean and Chuck were married in 1952 after his return from Korea. They were married for 50 years until he passed away in 2002.