American Legion fundraising can help multiple programs geared toward helping veterans and their families all over the United States. There are many ways that you can make a difference in helping your local chapter.
Is American Legion Fundraising Necessary?
With so many non-profit organizations and charitable causes, why should the American Legion be on your list of priorities? First of all, you must understand what exactly the American Legion does in order to feel compelled to give. The American Legion was founded by Congress in 1919 to help and equip veterans and their families who need a leg up in a variety of different ways. Known within the legion as "mutual helpfulness", this patriotic organization is a not-for-profit community service group, and makes a difference in the lives of approximately 3 million legion members across the country.
With this being said, like many non-profits in this country, funding is limited and expenses often go beyond the cash available. Fundraising is essential to each American Legion post (there are 15,000 of them), as they work hard to assist every veteran and his/her family members who walk through their doors.
What Funding Goes Toward
While each American Legion post varies in its size and programs available, here is a list of the basic services provided by this thriving non-profit organization.
Since the 1920s, the American Legion has run a youth baseball program designed to teach young people the important values of self-esteem, teamwork and discipline. Boys and girls aged 7-14 are invited to participate in leagues all over the nation.
High school juniors are selected to participate in the American Legion's Boys State/Nation program, where they become a part of either their local, county or state government operations. The program started in 1935 as a response to the negative impacts of the Fascist Young Pioneer Camps, and has continued to grow and flourish through local post sponsorships, fundraising, and other financial resources.
The American Legion is a huge supporter of Boy Scouts, and annually honors an Eagle Scout of the year at its national convention. The winner receives at $10,000 scholarship, and is a prestigious honor among the children of military personnel.
Financial Discounts and Services
American Legion members can receive a discount on many products, including Apple computers. They also have a private selection consultation program with Sears, allowing members to receive special pricing. They also have a prescription program, travel discounts and moving and relocation services for families.
These are just a few of the great services the American Legion offers our nation's veterans and their loved ones.
Fundraising for the American Legion
If you're ready to show your support to your local legion post, you may be wondering what is the best way to do so. First, you can participate in the annual Legacy Run. This run encompasses a stretch of the United States (2008's run went from Indianapolis to Phoenix) - featuring motorcycle riders who roar through seven states for five days to help better the education options for servicemen's children.
You can also come up with your own local fundraisers using some of the ideas below.
Many military families have recipes that are generational traditions in their homes. Why not gather together some of these wonderful home-cooked meal ideas and make them into a cookbook to benefit your local legion? You can ask a local print shop to sponsor the cost of your cookbooks, and then charge whatever is a reasonable price in your community.
Since the legion posts serve military personnel, stock up on American flags, patriotic bumper stickers, and maybe even ask some local women to create a USA-themed quilt. Sell these at a local fair or go door to door.
Calendars are a fantastic end of the year fundraiser, as people are looking for inexpensive gift options, and also everyone will need a wall calendar for the new year ahead. Create a photo calendar that features a different picture from your community for every month - a cherished local veteran, a gorgeous view of a city park, a gathering of children at a neighborhood event.
American Legion fundraising doesn't have to be difficult - it's just a matter of finding the perfect idea in order to support a great organization.