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April 2023 eNews

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

Check out this special edition tote!

R.Riveter, an American handbag and accessory company, and newest member benefit provider for the American Legion Auxiliary, is launching the Special Edition Poppy Otto tote in May 2023. 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. 

April: Month of the Military Child and Purple Up! Day

Military children face unique challenges and make sacrifices. To recognize this, April is designated as the Month of the Military Child (#MOMC). 

Purple Up! Day — April 15 — is part of the monthlong celebration. To show support for military children and raise awareness about their sacrifices, people wear purple on this special day. Purple symbolizes a combination of the colors of each branch of the U.S. military: Army green, Navy blue, Air Force blue, Marine red, and Coast Guard blue. 

As a major supporter and advocate for veterans, the military, and their families for more than a century, the American Legion Auxiliary appreciates and celebrates these children who give up so much as their servicemember parents work to protect and defend America, its people, and its principles. Thousands of ALA members and other members of The American Legion Family participate in Purple Up! Day.

Veterans ready for camaraderie at annual gathering of creatives 

The 42nd annual National Veterans Creative Arts Festival (NVCAF) is underway. This year’s festival is in St. Louis and runs through April 16.

Veterans enrolled at U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical facilities compete in local creative arts competitions. The top winning entries advance to the national Festival. 

You can learn more about this year’s Festival by reading our blog and following @NVCAF on Facebook

The NVCAF is co-presented by the American Legion Auxiliary and the VA.

What do you have planned?

National Poppy Day is May 26 this year. We’d love to hear what your ALA unit has planned for this special day. Let us know!

If your unit hasn’t yet prepared poppy activities, don’t worry — you can still make plans. Here are some ideas on what your Legion Family can do:

  • At your post home, place poppies in a vase at each table, along with a donation can (find printable labels here)
  • Contact a local business to see if you can set up a table to distribute poppies 
  • Ask businesses to display poppy donation cans 
  • Distribute poppies at Memorial Day weekend events in your area 
  • Hand out poppies at your post home and invite the public … consider a drive-thru event!
  • Set up a display at your local library

You’re invited to our 2023 Virtual National Poppy Day event! 

We’re putting together the pieces of our back-by-popular-demand Virtual National Poppy Day, and we’d love your fingerprints on it. We hope to feature all generations in our presentation! Send us a video (instructions below) of you, or a group of your fellow Legion Family members, finishing this sentence: “I wear a poppy…”

How to send your video:

  • Record yourself, or have someone record you. 
  • Videos must be filmed in landscape mode (hold your phone or camera horizontally).
  • Avoid having a window or busy background behind you, or sun or bright lights in your face.
  • Use the site to send it to [email protected].    

Submit materials by Monday, April 17, and watch our Virtual National Poppy Day presentation on May 26 at noon ET!

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

Have you thought about a Veteran Projects Fund grant?

A Veteran Projects Fund grant will provide your ALA unit or department with an opportunity to create a new funding stream that does not need to be repaid. In addition, securing grant funding can result in a domino effect with more organizations seeing the value in the ALA’s goals and mission and forging new partnerships in your community. To learn more about Veteran Projects Fund grant opportunities, visit or call (317) 569-4500 to speak with our Development Division and discuss your application today!

Good to know

Order ALA poppy coloring books in time for May. As you’re making plans for National Poppy Day, consider ordering ALA poppy coloring books — a great way to educate kids about the meaning behind the poppy. The books are available for purchase from Emblem Sales or can be downloaded for free with a member login.

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.

Need American Legion Family membership applications? We have two versions – color and black-and-white available for download. We created the black-and-white version to be printer friendly from your home office. The traditional brochures are still available from your department.

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, and mission-related content you won’t see anywhere else! Just search for @ALAforVeterans or scan the QR code.

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

Let's get ready for convention!

The special convention season is in our near future, so to help you prepare, we thought it would be beneficial to share some questions from the past. As you prepare for your department conventions this summer, check out the blog for helpful tips!

Promoting our mission, and values in everything we do

Everything American Legion Auxiliary members promote, publish, post, etc., should always come back to the mission. Whether it’s posting the mission statement on your website or promotional materials tied to your fundraising and community events, it’s important to share what our organization is all about. Check out the blog for tips on how to communicate your mission and values more effectively.

Save the date!

April – Month of the Military Child

April 9 – National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day

April 10-16 – National Veterans Creative Arts Festival 

April 16-22 – National Volunteer Week

April 22 – Earth Day

April 15 – Purple Up! Day for military children

April 29 – American Legion Family Day

April 30 – National Military Brats Day

May – Military Appreciation Month

What is your favorite ALA program and why?

"ALA Girls State. I attended in 2009 in Idaho and have been on staff since 2011. The program not only allowed me to learn the functions of government and the importance of civic responsibility, but it allowed me to grow as a person and a leader.”

— Kristin Sears, Idaho

Legion Family News

American Legion Family Day

American Legion Family Day is Saturday, April 29. On this date, American Legion posts throughout the nation will open their doors to members of their local communities with the intent of celebrating all great deeds and works of The American Legion Family to educate, recruit, recognize, and give back to those who continually support the gift of giving. The day will also place special emphasis and awareness on the Legion’s “Be The One” program.

Heads up: Phony, unauthorized ‘My Legion’ app floating around

American Legion National Headquarters IT staff have become aware of an unauthorized “My Legion” app currently available from the Android and Apple stores. The app was created by organizations identified as “Giant Killer” (Apple App Store) and “Feel Good 7” (Google Play). 

Please do not engage with these sellers or download the app, as they do not have permission to use the Legion’s name and likeness, and they are charging a monthly fee. The American Legion’s intellectual property attorney is exploring legal options.

American Legion National Headquarters has no plans to produce a fee-for-service app. They are actively working on a mobile application focused on helping local posts and individual members. When their official app is ready, it will be announced through official Legion Family channels and will be identified with The American Legion as the “seller” once published to the app stores.

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. 

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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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