October 2021 eNews
A Community of Volunteers Serving Veterans, Military, and their Families
Increase your social media knowledge
American Legion Auxiliary units are always looking for more ways to get the word out. The easiest and cheapest way to do just that is through social media. ALA National Headquarters staff will provide you with guidance on the best ways to promote your unit activities — whether they’re mission outreach or not — as well as other helpful information. We’ll even let you in on some of our social media secrets!

Using Social Media to Your Unit’s Advantage (Part 1)
Thursday, Oct. 14, at 8 p.m. ET

Part 1 of this two-part series will cover the basics. Here’s a snapshot view of what participants will learn in this webinar:

  • Helpful tips and tricks on using social media to promote your ALA unit’s events and activities, both internally (to fellow members) and externally (to nonmembers) — and why these two things should be different.
  • Consider the most popular social platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.
  • The types of content people like to see (aka what gets your social media posts noticed).
  • Best practices on the maintenance side of things: passwords, changing admins, etc.
  • Collaborating with your fellow unit members to keep your social media account active and engaging with followers. 

Sign up today! Register here.

Don’t forget about our other ALA Academy offerings! 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, recordings of all ALA Academy Live webinars are available.

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

Get started today! Log in with your member ID at www.ALAforVeterans.org/ALA-Academy.
Instead of candy, give ALA Halloween coloring books to trick-or-treaters
These coloring books give kids a fun activity while spreading awareness about the American Legion Auxiliary (and parents may be happy to see less sugar in the bags!).

You can purchase the books or download for free! 
Be a lifesaver by supporting the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival today
Dr. Vaneada “Vee” Harvey was the first African American forward-deployed satellite commander in the United States Army. After her service, she struggled with chronic pain, a traumatic brain injury, and post-traumatic stress disorder. But dancing with her friends at the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival gave her something to smile about. 

“Being able to express ourselves creatively helps us get ourselves back in balance. Many times, it can be a lifesaver,” Vee said.

Help more veterans experience joy and healing with a gift to the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival today. 

Help those impacted by Hurricane Ida
Many of your fellow American Legion Auxiliary members just survived Hurricane Ida. At its worst, this hurricane left over 1 million homes and businesses without power and over 440,000 without water. The Auxiliary Emergency Fund is needed now more than ever by ALA members affected by this disaster. Donate now to the AEF, and help provide food, water, and shelter to your Auxiliary family in crisis. If you or someone you know has been affected by Hurricane Ida or another disaster, apply now for an AEF grant. No member should ever be alone in their time of greatest need.
Honor our youth caregivers with this ALA award
In honor of National President Kathy Daudistel’s caregiver focus, the national Children & Youth Committee is launching a new youth appreciation opportunity. The ALA Youth Caregiver Award will recognize youth who have provided care, comfort, and support to loved ones and family members, without being paid. 

A fillable PDF template is available for download from the ALA national website for units to present.
Scholarship application form now available online
The ALA Children of Warriors National Presidents’ scholarship is now an online form. Applications will come to ALA National Headquarters and then be distributed to departments (states) for the first round of judging.

The American Legion Auxiliary sponsors this scholarship to support the children of our warriors. These scholarships are awarded to 15 students annually who excel in academics and volunteer in their communities.

The scholarship deadline is March 1, 2022.
Honor our nation’s heroes Nov. 11
Veterans Day is Thursday, Nov. 11. We want to hear from you. Email us how you plan to honor veterans. 

Did you know that Veterans Day was originally called “Armistice Day”? President Dwight D. Eisenhower changed the name in 1954. 
In-person ALA Mission Trainings and Junior meetings return in 2022
Five ALA Mission Trainings and national Junior meetings are planned for 2022. They will be held at the same time and locations throughout the winter and spring. Mission Trainings are designed to help members better understand our mission of serving veterans, military, and their families. ALA national Junior meeting participants will take part in mission-related service projects, work on crafts, and learn new ideas to take back to their unit.

Events will be held across the country in January through April. Follow our social media channels for updates. 
Good to know
We hope you’ll renew your Auxiliary membership so we can keep serving our mission strongly. 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.

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!

Learn about branding The American Legion Family. Our branding game has been adapted to make it American Legion Family friendly, adding in the Family emblems and changing the wording and logos used throughout to be more encompassing. The senior member version includes 22 logos of well-known company/organization brands, while the Juniors/Sons version has 22 logos but with brands that appeal to a younger target audience. Download the documents to play. Everyone walks away from this game as winners!

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.

Shop Lands’ End Business for ALA branded apparel and products. Since 1963, Lands' End Business has provided 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.

The ALA in Numbers. 3,037,026 — number of hours ALA volunteers spent serving veterans and the military in the 2019-2021 administrative year!
Find ALA program 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
“I’ve never felt like I belonged anywhere, a perpetual outsider. Joining the Auxiliary, I have been empowered and taken out of my comfort zone, allowing me to increase confidence in myself, discovering strengths I never thought I had, while working on weaker areas in a safe and encouraging environment. Change comes from growth.”
A member since 2017, Kristen Hensley’s eligibility for membership comes through her husband, Doug, although she also has several family members with ties to the military. Doug saw The American Legion Riders and was inspired to go to the post and sign up. He encouraged Hensley to join as well. 
“I have a quirky personality and I’ve always felt like an outsider everywhere I’ve gone,” she said. “Not that anyone did anything; I just felt out of step. I think for women particularly, that is a common feeling.”
They’re similar to American Legion Auxiliary members in how they make sure veterans and their families are taken care of. They offer a listening ear, and sometimes, a shoulder to cry on. They’re often unsung heroes. 
Accredited American Legion service officers are specially trained to provide expert assistance, free of charge, to veterans and their families. While the majority of a service officer’s work involves application for VA disability benefits, these compassionate professionals also provide information, referrals, and resources on education, employment and business, death benefits, and other important topics.
“I primarily deal with disability and compensation claims — getting people in the VA,” said Courtney VanZanten, Department Service Officer (DSO) for South Dakota.
Many departments have taken actions to update their governing documents and catch up after missing 2020 conventions. 

Understandably, we have all been focused on making provisions for operating in emergencies as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, but let’s not forget about business that was put on hold during the pandemic. 

Remember The American Legion’s mandated eligibility changes that occurred at the 2019 National Convention (1: “wives” to “spouses” and 2: Legion eligibility for veterans extended to all service since World War II)? Unless you have a provision in your bylaws that automatically amends them to be consistent with the national bylaws, your unit or department has to vote the changes into your governing documents. Does that surprise you? 
It’s a group of women you don’t want to be part of but are glad they are around when you need them most. Maybe you’ve seen their gold star pins and wondered what they represented.
These are Gold Star Mothers, women whose son or daughter became missing in action, died while on active duty, or died as a result of such service. A mission-compatible organization to the American Legion Auxiliary, these women are also eligible for ALA membership. 
In 1917, Grace Darling Seibold began visiting returning servicemen in hospitals when her 23-year-old son, George Vaughn Seibold, volunteered to join the military. He regularly wrote home to his family, but one day, the letters stopped coming. Grace continued visiting hospitalized veterans with a twofold mission — to serve veterans and look for her son. In 1918, the family received news of his death. 
Don't miss out on ALA member benefits!
When your heart wants to return to travel, stay with Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. Members save up to 20% off hotel stays. Learn more.
Save the date!
October 13 – U.S. Navy birthday
October 14 – ALA Academy Live: Using Social Media to Your Unit’s Advantage
October 31 – Halloween
November 7 – Daylight Saving Time ends: turn your clocks back! 
November 10 – American Legion Auxiliary’s 102nd birthday
November 10 – Marine Corps birthday
November 11 – Veterans Day (ALA National Headquarters’ offices closed) 
Do you have a favorite fall American Legion Auxiliary activity?
“Our Veterans Day potluck! We bring our favorite dishes, honor our veterans, and draw tickets for a floral bouquet.” 

— Marta Miles Huls, South Dakota
Legion Family News
Tango Alpha Lima podcast going strong

The American Legion’s Tango Alpha Lima podcast had its most successful months ever in August and September, thanks to the special series related to the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.
Here’s how well the podcast performed in terms of downloads:
  • September: 10,374 downloads, as of Sept. 28
  • August: 7,532 downloads
  • March: 4,409 downloads, the previous highest total
Every week, an episode is published by 9 a.m. Eastern time. Tango Alpha Lima rotates with a special guest one week and a roundtable discussion on hot topics of interest to the veterans and military community in other weeks.
Download and listen on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, or view on YouTube. All of the more than 90 episodes, including the special series honoring the 20th anniversary of 9/11, are available on the podcast webpage
You’re invited to join The American Legion Media Alliance

Did you know that ALA members are eligible to be members of The American Legion Media Alliance (TALMA) and receive all the benefits? Membership benefits include a press credential and lanyard, the Tips and Tricks brochure, resources, and other materials to promote The American Legion, post events, programs, and more. 

Among the highlights:

  • Virtual training: Each month, TALMA puts together a virtual training session for members. In the past, experts have presented information about best practices for social media, interviewing tips, photography essentials, how to manage crisis communications, and more. We welcome your feedback and suggestions for additional topics.

  • Facebook group: Additionally, you are invited to join our private Facebook group. We use this page to provide information to TALMA members, apprise them of just-released resources, and share questions and answers on relevant communication topics.

  • Resources: We have developed a webpage and will be adding resources, content, and more information moving forward.

  • Annual contest: Members also receive free entry into the annual contest. Deadline is April 15 of each year. 

Helping military families

To help military families, The American Legion Family is collecting baby items. Those items will be distributed at a baby shower Saturday, Nov. 13, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. ET at American Legion Post 238 in Hughesville, Md. Expectant servicemembers and/or spouses E5 and below are invited to attend. For more information, contact Tyra Nelson.
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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.