July 2021 eNews & eBulletin
A Community of Volunteers Serving Veterans, Military, and their Families
ALA Girls Nation is coming soon!
After a year off due to COVID-19, ALA Girls Nation returns July 24-31! This is the 74th year for the program. High school juniors from across the country will experience this unique opportunity to represent their state as “senators.” The program is a profound learning experience designed to teach young women how the federal government operates. Senators will hold mock senate sessions, participate in a community service project, tour D.C. monuments, and much more. You can follow ALA Girls Nation on Facebook and Instagram. Just search for @ALAGirlsNation.
Get ready to celebrate! 
The 100th ALA National Convention is scheduled for Aug. 27-Sept. 2 in Phoenix. We continue to monitor local and state guidelines for COVID-19 safety procedures. Some restrictions have changed as we get closer. Changes include:
  • Convention is now open to the public.
  • No capacity limits in meeting/larger general session rooms or exhibit hall.
  • Face coverings/masks not required for those fully vaccinated.
  • No onsite temperature checks or health screenings.
Things to keep in mind:
  • You must pre-register. Convention walk-ins will not be permitted this year. You must register in advance with your respective American Legion Auxiliary department.
  • All attendees must sign a liability waiver.
  • Please social distance in common areas of the Phoenix Convention Center.

An app will be available soon to keep people informed and up to date.

If you’re not attending the ALA’s largest national event in person, be sure to watch our livestream at www.ALAforVeterans.org starting Monday, Aug. 30. Follow us on social media @ALAforVeterans for the latest updates.
Important information to keep your unit running smoothly
Does your unit have trouble filing its annual 990? Is your unit’s tax-exempt status revoked and you don’t know what to do? Are you a new unit and need guidance on tax obligations? 

Attend the ALA Academy Compliance Matters webinar to learn about state and federal filing requirements, how to become tax exempt and stay exempt, and general compliance knowledge to keep your organization running smoothly.

This webinar is being held Thursday, July 29, at 8 p.m. ET.

Increase your knowledge of an ALA quickly and conveniently! 
The ALA Academy is an easy way for all ALA members to learn about topics related to serving our mission. The Academy includes recordings of previously held live webinars and self-paced courses. If you missed a live webinar or would like to watch again, all the ALA Academy Live webinars are now available for your viewing. Topics include:

  • Using Poppy Funds
  • Unit Fundraising Panel
  • ALA Junior Leadership Training (includes four webinars)
  • Mission Delivery Series (includes four webinars)

Coming soon: Watch a recording of the Department Leadership National Conference.

Get started today! Log in with your member ID at www.ALAforVeterans.org/ALA-Academy.

We’d love to hear how you are using these courses/webinars, and which one is your favorite! Email us!
Help send students to college 
Summer break is in full swing, and so is the mad dash for many students to get a job and start saving funds to get them through the upcoming school semester. By donating to American Legion Auxiliary scholarships, you’ll help ensure these students have everything they need to succeed next semester. Donate now to ALA scholarships and change the lives of ALA students! 
ALA National Headquarters’ executive director briefings now online       
Want the latest internal news on national ALA happenings? Check out the weekly briefings from Executive Director Kelly Circle, J.D., Ph.D., in the MyAuxiliary member portal. Created to improve communication and engagement among all members — not just those serving in leadership positions — the weekly briefing editions are posted regularly, and archived issues are available. Log in with your member ID today and take a look!
Join the ALA Legacy Society
We invite you to join the 32 donors who have committed or shared their plans to leave a gift and joined the Legacy Society. American Legion Auxiliary Legacy Society members have several things in common. Like you, they have worked hard and saved wisely. They understand philanthropy and they know that by partnering with the American Legion Auxiliary for their legacy gift, the assets they leave will ensure future generations of veterans, military, and their families are cared for. Your legacy gift has the power to do good works forever. 
Good to know
Have you seen our ALA Halloween and poppy coloring books? Several units purchase these books to hand out to kids in their communities. These books are so popular with units that American Legion Flag & Emblem Sales has sold more than 10,000 copies. You can purchase the books or download for free!
You can now shop Lands’ End Business for ALA branded apparel and products. Since 1963, Lands' End Business has been providing quality clothing you can count on. They fit everybody with innovative designs made for you. Shop for a wide variety of clothing, luggage, and promotional products all with the American Legion Auxiliary emblem.

Help us increase our following on Instagram! You may be familiar with our social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter, but did you know we are on Instagram too? Join us for fun, unique content you won’t see anywhere else! Just search for @ALAforVeterans. 

Are you reading the ALA blog? We regularly post stories and quick reads as a valuable resource for both ALA members and nonmembers alike. These short, online articles feature stories about our members, good ideas for units, service projects, and much more.

Need to renew your Auxiliary membership? Take care of your membership in three easy ways: by phone, online, or mail. Go to www.ALAforVeterans.org, call (317) 569-4570, or mail in your renewal notice.

Do you shop Amazon Prime? If you do, be sure to use AmazonSmile! Through Amazon’s charitable program, AmazonSmile, you can support the American Legion Auxiliary Foundation. Simply sign in through this special link and select the American Legion Auxiliary. Amazon will donate 0.5% of every purchase you make to the ALA Foundation. It may seem small, but a little can add up to a lot. 

The ALA in Numbers. We have more than 8,000 units! In addition to units in the United States, we have seven in foreign countries — Australia, Canada, China, France, Mexico, Panama, and the Philippines.
ALA In the Know eBulletin
Find our groups on Facebook
Click here to stay updated with July reports and timely articles from ALA national committees, programs, and activities: ALA 100th Anniversary Committee, Americanism, Community Service, Legislative, and Public Relations.
Discover what your fellow ALA members are saying in the committee Facebook groups! These easy-to-access forums provide an arena for organic discussion about your local programs or services and present the opportunity to cultivate brand awareness. Find the list of groups here.
On the ALA Blog
Hosting a Veterans Creative Arts Festival (VCAF) is no small feat – and starting a festival in a new community is even more of a challenge. 

That’s why when members of the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Nebraska began their plans for their very first VCAF at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Hospital in Grand Island, Neb., they knew they could not do it all on their own. 

First, they worked to get the VA hospital staff on board, who helped them find space, set a time, and develop marketing strategies to enhance the program and grow participation and attendance. 
It’s tough to put into words how much of a godsend reliable, responsible, and hardworking non-member volunteers are to the American Legion Auxiliary. Through most of the ALA’s century of existence, volunteers who don’t belong to the Auxiliary have assisted ALA members in achieving our mission to selflessly serve veterans, military, and their families, mentor youth, and contribute positively to local communities.

How wonderful is it that there are people willing to give of themselves to help or honor others — and ask for nothing in return? ALA members understand that because they, too, are volunteering their time and efforts for a greater good. The American Legion Auxiliary is a community of volunteers serving veterans, military, and their families. 
Dayna Beyer is always looking for new ways to spread patriotism. The Ohio department historian and member of American Legion Auxiliary Unit 535 taught a “sip-and-paint” class as a fun educational activity for youth in the community. A volunteer at another local veteran organization, Love Our Heroes, Beyer offered hosting a painting class, with the paintings going to veterans and the proceeds benefitting veterans. 
“A lot of people were shut in due to the pandemic; the post was closed down for a little bit, and a lot of veterans couldn’t go out of their homes, so we wanted to lift up their spirits,” said Beyer. 
By now, you’ve probably heard that the American Legion Auxiliary Foundation has grants, but you might be wondering – who are they for, what can they be used for, when should I apply, and why do they exist?

Who: ALA Foundation grants are for ALA entities – so your unit, district/county, or department can apply! One note: You must be in good standing with the IRS to receive funding.

What: ALA Foundation grants are not what you might think of when you hear the word “grant.” They aren’t long, 30-page documents that will take you months to complete.
Don't miss out on ALA member benefits!
BlueStar SeniorTech is a veteran-owned and operated company, so service to their customers is “mission-critical.” BlueStar SeniorTech provides healthcare services and technology tailored to help seniors live better lives as they age. American Legion Auxiliary members: You’re eligible for a special 10% discount on your choice of all products and services. Shop for ways to make life easier, safer, and more comfortable for you and your loved ones. 
Save the date!
July 22-24 – The American Legion 3-Position Junior Rifle Championship
July 24-31 – ALA Girls Nation
July 25 – National Hire a Veteran Day
July 27 – National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day
July 29 - ALA Academy Compliance Matters webinar
August 4 – Coast Guard Birthday
August 7 – Purple Heart Day
August 10 – U.S. Department of Defense Birthday
August 12-17 – The American Legion Baseball World Series
August 14 – Navajo Code Talkers Day
August 27-September 2 – ALA National Convention in Phoenix
Tell us about your experience at ALA Girls State/Nation
Legion Family News
100 Miles for Hope challenge
Departments – are you ready for a friendly competition? The American Legion Department of California is challenging others to a contest for the month of July. 

Departments are categorized by population, and the department in each category that raises the most money for the 100 Miles for Hope via Kilter and 100 Miles for Hope merchandise purchases will be deemed the winner. Funds raised support the Veterans & Children Foundation.

Find out how you can join the challenge today

Tools, resources for communicators 
If you are involved with promoting your post at the local, district, or department level, The American Legion Media Alliance (TALMA) has the resources, tools, and materials you need. 

TALMA is open to all members of The American Legion Family and is highly recommended for those handling communications, public relations, and similar duties. For an annual fee of $15, members receive:

• A press credential with lanyard.
• Free entry into the annual contest.
• Access to monthly virtual training sessions.
• The ability to join the private Facebook group.
• And, of course, resources and tools.

For more information and to join, please visit www.legion.org/talma 
ALA Membership
Where does your department stand in Auxiliary membership? Click here to log in and view the latest reports.

Legion Family Merchandise
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American Legion Flag & Emblem Sales.
The American Legion Legislative Alerts
The ALA supports the legislative agenda of The American Legion.
In the spirit of Service Not Self, the mission of the American Legion Auxiliary is to support The American Legion and honor the sacrifice of those who serve by enhancing the lives of our veterans, military, and their families, both at home and abroad. For God and country, we advocate for veterans, educate our citizens, mentor youth, and promote patriotism, good citizenship, peace, and security.