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May 2023 eNews

A Community of Volunteers Serving Veterans, Military, and their Families

A month of appreciation

May is Military Appreciation Month – which includes National Poppy Day

ALA members will be out in force on National Poppy Day (May 26 this year) and Memorial Day. The distribution of red crepe paper poppies not only raises funds to directly assist disabled and hospitalized veterans, but poppies also bring awareness to the public about the sacrifices our servicemembers made for their freedom.

One way ALA National Headquarters will bring awareness to the importance of this day is by hosting Virtual National Poppy Day. You can watch this program on Facebook (@ALAforVeterans) on May 26 at noon ET. Viewers will learn about the history, get ideas from other units, and much more! 

Pay tribute to fallen warriors on Memorial Day

On Memorial Day, May 29, American Legion Family members will honor the men and women who fought for our freedoms. Please take a moment this Memorial Day to pause while you remember these heroes, and wear your poppy with pride.

We appreciate you!

Military spouses are the heroes behind the scenes. Their continued dedication and sacrifices help keep our country safe and our servicemembers secure. Military spouses deserve our gratitude every day, but Military Spouse Appreciation Day (May 12) is set aside specifically to honor and acknowledge the military spouses among us who continue to demonstrate Service Not Self.    

Now available!

R.Riveter, an American handbag and accessory company, and newest member benefit provider for the American Legion Auxiliary, has created this Special Edition Poppy Otto tote. ALA members can receive 20% off their purchase by using the code WELCOMEALA just in time for National Poppy Day!

R.Riveter was co-founded by military spouses Cameron Cruse and Lisa Bradley. The company is based in North Carolina and employs military spouses who help make the handcrafted handbags the company sells — multiple military spouses can work on one bag. The work can be done remotely, helping military spouses find a job when they relocate frequently. 

New course on DEI available

The new ALA Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion course was created to: help our members recognize biased language and performance bias and implement strategies to overcome them; identify and properly use interrupters to create a more inclusive and welcoming environment for all; and demonstrate the ability to coach others on the importance of inclusion and equity within ALA. 

Before you begin, please familiarize yourself with these definitions, which are used throughout the course:

Diversity is the presence of differences that may include race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, nationality, socioeconomic status, language, ability, and age (among others). Diversity is about taking account of the differences between people and groups of people and placing a positive value on these differences.

Equity looks to ensure people have access to the same treatment, opportunity, and advancement, with an emphasis on identifying and removing barriers that prevent participation from some groups.

Inclusion ensures that those who are diverse actually feel and are welcomed by a group.

bias includes words, phrases, and/or sweeping generalizations that do not fairly represent all individuals within a group.

stereotype is an assigned generalization or preconceived characteristics attributed to a certain set of people. They can include oversimplified generalizations that may be untrue or only partially true.

This 30-minute course will lead you and your ALA unit to a more diverse organization, allowing the Auxiliary to help more veterans — creating a larger volunteer pool and improving community engagement and outreach.

Sign up here to take the course. 

Fundraising 4-1-1

Care packages are a great way to boost the morale of our military members and show appreciation for their service. Like the American Legion Auxiliary, ShipThrifty is passionate about supporting those who serve. ShipThrifty is here to serve and empower us for our personal, business, and care package shipping. When it comes to care package shipping, they are second to none and support thousands of events each year. ALA members get expert support, processes, and technology to make their care packing parties fun and simple. Consider hosting a packing party

Create your free ShipThrifty account today ➡️ or type ALA in the affiliate code at signup.

Good to know

The May issue of Auxiliary magazine is arriving in mailboxes and is available online. In this issue, Legion Family members advocate for our mission, a department takes a new approach to mentoring, ALA units observe military holidays, and more. Did an article stand out to you, or did you learn something new from this issue? Let us know!

Flag Day is June 14. Government and businesses can buy flags/equipment from American Legion Flag & Emblem Sales, an approved entity that can sell flags and flag display equipment to government agencies at the federal, state, and local levels. American Legion Family members can help raise awareness about the American Legion Auxiliary and generate revenue for the Legion Family by encouraging government and businesses to buy USA-made flags and flag equipment from Emblem Sales. Any VA facility, company, church, civic organization, or the public can buy flags and flag items from Emblem Sales.

A special edition patch has raised over $3,700! As part of 2022-2023 ALA National President Vickie Koutz’s focus, a Veterans Creative Arts patch was created. To earn the patch, Junior and SAL youth have to raise at least $5 for each year old. For example, a 17-year-old would raise a minimum of $85 (17x$5=$85). Congratulations to those who have earned this patch! 

Has your ALA membership expired? You can still renew for 2023 and continue serving veterans, military, and their families. You can renew your membership in three easy ways: by phone, online, or mail. Go to, call (317) 569-4570, or mail in your renewal notice.

Is your local VAMC opening back up for ALA volunteers? ALA members have volunteered at VA healthcare facilities since the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Voluntary Service (VAVS) was founded in 1946. Many of the customary roles have changed in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic. However, some volunteers are getting to return to some of their previous activities. We'd love to hear how volunteer opportunities are opening up in your community. Email [email protected].

Keep an eye out for 2023-2024 ALA Mission Training dates! In these one-day conferences, you’ll be inspired while learning more about working the ALA’s core programs in an interactive and fun environment. BONUS: National Junior meetings are held at the same time and in the same city as Mission Training events. Learn more.

Request to join the official ALA program and committee groups on Facebook

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

Honoring and remembering our nation's heroes

May is a special month for American Legion Family members and all Americans to show appreciation to servicemembers, veterans, military spouses, and remember those who gave their lives protecting our freedoms. May is Military Appreciation Month and includes several military holidays like National Poppy Day and Memorial Day.

Wise Person Said: Ashley Gutermuth

Ashley Gutermuth is a stand-up comedian, actor, military spouse, and member of the American Legion Auxiliary. And she recently added a new title: co-host of The American Legion Tango Alpha Lima podcast. Read the blog for more about the newest member of the Tango Alpha Lima podcast team.

Save the date!

May – Military Appreciation Month 

May – Month of the Military Caregiver

May 12 – Military Spouse Appreciation Day

May 13 – Children of Fallen Patriots Day 

May 20 – Armed Forces Day 

May 26 – National Poppy Day 

May 29 – Memorial Day 

June – PTSD Awareness Month 

June 6 – D-Day  

June 14 – Flag Day  

I wear a poppy...

"It’s a conversation starter. I get to explain the tradition and why it’s important to honor our military daily and how the ALA is involved in that mission."

— Cindy Harper, Mississippi

Legion Family News

Registration open for 2023 Legacy Run

The five-day, 1,100-mile ride will leave Indiana on Aug. 20 and travel through Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee before the final stop at the Hendrick Motorsports campus in Concord, N.C., on Aug. 24. The annual motorcycle ride raises funds for The American Legion Legacy Scholarship Fund. Last year’s ride raised a record $1,324,548 — the eighth time the Legacy Run has surpassed $1 million. The registration deadline is Aug. 9. Learn more

Be active in advocacy

You can help The American Legion’s advocacy efforts in Congress. It’s easy to join in by going to The American Legion’s Grassroots Action Center. There you can stay informed on the issues and communicate online with your members of Congress. 

ALA Membership
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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.
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