The purpose of the Americanism program is to inspire, recognize, and perpetuate responsible citizenship through education and acts of patriotism, as well as raise awareness and increase appreciation of the price paid for our fundamental freedoms. The program includes increasing flag etiquette awareness in communities, awareness and participation in youth activities that promote proper respect for our flag and loyalty to our country and promoting Auxiliary participation in The American Legion Americanism programs.
Auxiliary Emergency Fund
The purpose of the AEF is to provide temporary emergency financial assistance to members in need and promote awareness and knowledge of the program, raise funds and disseminate information about its application process. Applications are available on the National website or by contacting the Department Secretary. Applicants should make every effort to secure help from local, state and federal agencies
A Brief History - The Auxiliary Emergency Fund (AEF) initially came from an estate inherited from an Auxiliary member, Mrs. Helen Colby Small of Wisconsin. By action at the National Convention in Houston, TX (1971) the proceeds from this inheritance were designated to fund this project. The fund is perpetuated by the contributions from Units through their Departments. Units are encouraged to make donations to this fund.
ALA Badger Girls State
The purpose of American Legion Auxiliary Badger Girls State (ALABGS) is to provide a unique educational opportunity for young women that instills the basic ideals and principles of American government through citizenship training programs.
ALABGS is a nonpartisan program that teaches young women responsible citizenship and love for God and Country. These young women learn government by creating the mythical state of Badger through the election of public officials on local, county and state levels; carrying out the duties of these respective offices; and living together as self-governing citizens with the duties, privileges and responsibilities of citizenship in a representative form of government.
ALABGS is NOT a recreational program. Participants should come prepared to apply themselves diligently to the program as it is established. Girls will not be excused from any part of the ALABGS session. Full time participation is needed in order to gain the fullest knowledge of the projects being presented and to fulfill their obligation to their sponsors. Girls are expected to give a report to the sponsoring Unit or Contributors upon their return home. For more information visit www.alabgs.org.
Music is the great universal language. It knows no limitations in time, race, creed or education. Its eloquence can inspire when all else has failed. Unit meetings can have musical programs appropriate to the occasion using Unit talent or other musicians including school groups, scouts and/or local church/gospel choirs. Background music, especially patriotic, can set the mood for Legion Family work projects and fundraisers.
One of the best and easiest ways to bring music into Unit meetings is for all members to sing a song or two at the start and/or end of their meetings. If songbooks are not available, have the words typed so that everyone may join in song. Units are encouraged to include the National Anthem in opening ceremonies and to use the Auxiliary theme song “To the Auxiliary” or “God Bless America.” If you need a copy of “To the Auxiliary,” please contact the Department Chaplain/Music Chairman for the words and music.
While the Department Chaplain is also the Department Music Chairman, this is not a requirement for Units where the Music Chairman can be a separate position. However, the activities of Unit/County/District Music Chairmen should be included on the Department Chaplain’s annual mid-year and year-end reports.
Children & Youth
The purpose of the Children and Youth program is to protect, care for and support children and youth, particularly those of veteran and military families. The program includes developing, implementing and monitoring programs and activities that contribute to the physical, mental and emotional health and wellness of children and youth of military families. Each unit is encouraged, along with their Legion Family, to develop its own activities beyond the national Auxiliary supported programs/activities, and support implementation of Children and Youth programs of The American Legion. Although it receives special emphasis during the month of April, our Children and Youth program is a year-round activity.
The purpose of the Community Service program is to mobilize the American Legion Family, the veteran and military community, and the general population of the community to provide services directed to veterans, active duty service members, and their families.
This program includes development, implementation and monitoring of community service activities that promote economic security and offer assistance for veterans, active-duty service members and their families, and the homeless veteran while positioning the American Legion Auxiliary as a one stop shop organization to assist them in meeting their needs. Auxiliary Units should encourage the public to assist in this endeavor.
Constitution & Bylaws
Each Unit, when receiving its Charter, automatically adopts the Department Constitution and Department Bylaws. The Unit shall draft its own Bylaws covering rules pertinent to local situations. Unit Bylaws can in no way be contrary to the Department or National Constitution and Bylaws.
The adoption and regular review of Bylaws should be a standard practice of every Unit. All Units shall submit a copy of their Bylaws to Department Headquarters after each update for approval. Units should contact the Department Constitution and Bylaws Chairman for further direction or assistance with specific situations.
All Unit members should be familiar with the Unit’s Bylaws and Article VII of the Department Bylaws, which deals with Unit Organization.
Bylaws are composed of Articles and each has a title. Separate rules under each Article are called sections. The following suggestions are given as an aid to Units in writing or amending their Bylaws
The purpose of the Education program is to promote quality education for children and adults through classroom activities, literacy programs, scholarship promotion and support of education beyond high school, especially for military children.
This program includes focused attention on educational and scholarship opportunities for military children, whether their parent(s) are active duty or reserve; education of school administrators about the unique mental health issues facing children of our military; enhancing respect for the sacrifices of our military heroes among school children by scheduling Veterans in Community Schools programs; and supporting veterans to pursue higher education and vocational education.
Department Historian shall be responsible for compiling a complete historical record of the Department. She shall have authority to request from the officers of the Department and the Units therein information necessary for the performance of her duties and shall prepare and submit annually to the Department Convention a report covering the suggestions relating to the preservation of the historical records of the Department as she shall deem appropriate. She shall submit a history of the Department to the National Historian as requested.
The purpose of Junior Activities is to interest eligible young women (under the age of 18) in adult membership through positive experiences of mission-based volunteer opportunities that instill the ideals of the organization. This program encourages participation in service projects that serve our military, veterans and their families; promotes awareness of the various scholarship opportunities through the American Legion Auxiliary; and empowers Junior members by seeking their assistance to increase the use of technology (i.e. email, internet, and social networking sites) in promoting Auxiliary programs.
The purpose of the Leadership program is to develop and prepare knowledgeable and capable leaders to carry on the growth and success of the Auxiliary by promoting activities and resources that educate, motivate and mentor members of all ages and at all levels of the organization. As leaders in the American Legion Auxiliary, we must continue to move forward for a stronger organization filled with potential future leaders. We must provide them with opportunities to use their special skills and energy. We must constantly be looking for those with the potential to become our leaders of tomorrow. Our attention will be focused on senior members to reach out to the younger women in our communities.
The purpose of the Legislative program is to provide information and assistance to American Legion Auxiliary members in supporting the legislative agenda of The American Legion with elected officials at all levels of government (local, state, national). All of our programs are greatly dependent upon proper legislation, so we must be well informed.
In fulfillment of our Mission, the American Legion Auxiliary adheres to the following purposes:
To support and advocate for veterans, active military and their families
To support the initiatives and programs of The American Legion
To foster patriotism and responsible citizenship
To award scholarships and promote quality education and literacy
To provide educational and leadership opportunities that uphold the ideals of freedom and democracy and encourage good citizenship and patriotism in government
To increase our capacity to deliver our Mission by providing meaningful volunteer opportunities within our communities
To empower our membership to achieve personal fulfillment through Service Not Self
The purpose of National Security is to maintain and promote a strong national defense by strengthening and supporting military service members and their families. This program includes development, implementation and monitoring programs and activities that contribute to the practical, emotional and social well-being of military service members and their families.
This program also includes all activities promoting law and order in our own communities, as well as interest in the security of our country. Suggested activities include: donations to the USO, promoting safety in the streets, respect for laws and law enforcement personnel, emergency planning, blood donor program, ROTC/JROTC recognition programs, POW-MIA awareness, supporting the Gold Star/Blue Star banner program, and participating in Operation Homefront and welcome home celebrations.
Past Presidents Parley
The purpose of the Past Presidents Parley (PPP) is for women who have served as Unit, County, District, Department, or National Presidents to continue in the active service of the Auxiliary to ensure a strong leadership future for the organization. All Past Presidents at all levels are encouraged to continue their support to the organization by accepting responsibility that their knowledge and wisdom as a past leader can make a difference in developing and mentoring the life of one member. Past leaders can join the group as ambassadors for the organization knowing there is much information to share to make each level of the organization stronger and maintain its growth with positive actions.
The purpose of the Poppy Program is to honor veterans for their service and sacrifice by promoting the circulation of the poppy, educating all people of the poppy’s history, and the significant financial benefit realized by our nation’s veterans as a result of its distribution. Efforts should be made to increase Unit poppy revenues and the number of poppy makers for Department.
The Little Miss Poppy Contest (ages 6-12) and the Poppy Poster Contest are under the direction of the Department Poppy Chairman.
The purpose of Public Relations is to work collaboratively with all levels of the organization to create, implement and support a proactive communications network that positively projects the American Legion Auxiliary’s image to the general public, while advancing our mission and goals through a variety of materials and resources available to Departments and Units online.
Each Unit has certain flexible policies, which have come into practice either through custom or by action of the Unit. These shall not be included in the Bylaws but should be compiled as Standing Rules for Unit officers, chairmen and members.
Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation
The purpose of this program is to initiate, sponsor and participate in programs and services that assist and enhance the lives of veterans and their families; ensuring restoration and/or transition to normally functioning lives – physically, mentally, socially and vocationally. This program includes bringing awareness to the plight and ever-increasing number of homeless veterans, supporting rehabilitation of veterans through art therapy by raising money to fulfill our obligation as a corporate sponsor of the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival (NVCAF), increasing volunteer services at VA Medical Centers, State Veterans Homes, in community settings and from their homes.
VA&R: Homeless Women Veterans
The Homeless Women Veterans program is designed to reach out to women veterans and help them learn about VA benefits, local resources and where to find them, while continuing to educate our members and our communities of the sacrifices women veterans make when serving our country and of the hardships they face after returning home.
VA&R: Service to Veterans
Service to Veterans volunteers (formerly known as Home Service and Field Service) provide service to veterans, service members and their families outside a VA Medical Center. Volunteers conduct projects and work for military/veterans and/or families from their homes and in their communities. Service to Veterans volunteers maintain their own recordkeeping and dollars spent. Report this information to the Service to Veterans Chairman in their Unit, who then reports the hours annually to the Department Service to Veterans Chairman. A pin reflects the work of those who volunteer in their communities and at home for veterans. Hour bars are awarded when specific hour milestones are achieved: 50, 100, 300, 500 and 1000 hours.