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December 2023 eNews

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

As we celebrate this holiday season and look ahead to the new year, we give thanks to our American Legion Family members for their dedication to veterans, military, and their families. 

A special American Legion Family wreath laying ceremony

American Legion Family leadership participated in activities in Hawaii to remember the 2,403 servicemembers and civilians who were killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. ALA National President Lisa Williamson, American Legion National Commander Daniel Seehafer, and Sons of The American Legion National Commander Donald “JR” Hall Jr. took part in a remembrance ceremony at the Pearl Harbor National Memorial. To see pictures, go to @ALANationalPresident on Facebook.

Friday is the last day to submit your application for a 2024-2025 national committee appointment

The application process for 2024-2025 ALA national committee appointments is open for just a couple more days. National committee chairs and members are appointed annually and confirmed by the National Executive Committee to serve on a wide variety of ALA committees for you to explore. The goal is to match skillsets and talents that best complement the Auxiliary’s mission of serving veterans, the military, and their families. You need not have served as an officer in your unit, district, or department to be eligible for an appointment, and our male spouse ALA members are welcome to apply. The application deadline is Dec. 15. Read our blog to learn more about the committees. Apply now

Volunteer opportunities still available in local communities

ALA members, friends, and family: You can still register to volunteer to place wreaths at a cemetery in your community. On Dec. 16, more than 2 million wreaths will be placed on veterans’ graves across local, national, and military cemeteries, as well as veterans’ memorials and historic sites. 


To find a cemetery in your area, click here and then click “volunteer.”


ALA National President Lisa Williamson is currently participating in Wreaths Across America’s Escort to Arlington and then laying wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery on Dec. 16. Follow along on Facebook @ALANationalPresident and @ALAforVeterans. You can also follow our Instagram @ALAforVeterans

An ALA Girls State program is featured in new documentary

The documentary Girls State has been selected to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January. Directed and produced by award-winning filmmakers Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine (Boys State), the documentary will be available on Apple TV+. A release date has not been announced yet.

Help students in your community receive ALA national scholarships

Do you want to learn more about ALA national scholarships and how to guide students through the process?


Join us online Thursday, Jan. 11, from noon-12:45 p.m. EST to learn more about ALA national scholarships. Following the webinar, participants will:


  • Have a basic understanding of ALA national scholarships
  • Know the eligibility for the scholarships
  • Guide students in applying


Register now!

Something to get excited about in the new year! 

Need a positive moment to look forward to after the holidays? We have the perfect idea! 


Only three Mission Training events remain in this ALA administrative year! Don’t delay: Register for these interactive, fun days of service to the ALA mission all while making new friends! 


Break the winter blahs by going to Las Vegas on Jan. 27!


On Feb. 3, you have your choice of Nashville, Tenn., or Lincoln, Neb.


Past attendees have returned home with a renewed sense of purpose, creative ideas, and new mission-related activities to initiate in their communities. 


Register for an ALA Mission Training today! When you sign up, register your Juniors too!

A gathering just for ALA Juniors

While ALA Mission Training is underway, ALA Juniors get an exclusive event of their own! 


Don’t let the word “meeting” fool you — it’s more like a fun day camp! Juniors will learn about the ALA mission by playing games, making crafts, singing songs, and much more. And for those who love animals (who doesn’t?!) therapy dogs 🦮🐕‍🦺 and their handlers will be on site to talk about how canines assist veterans. 


Don’t let your ALA Junior member miss out on this opportunity. Plan to bring a Junior (or as many as you can fit in your car) with you to Mission Training — register now!


**BONUS: Every ALA Junior member who registers gets a FREE T-shirt designed by a fellow Junior!

Give yourself the gift of an ALA membership 

Continue serving veterans, military, and their families by renewing your membership. 2023 memberships expire Dec. 31. You can renew your membership in three easy ways: online, by phone, or by mail. Go to www.ALAforVeterans.org, call (317) 569-4570, or mail in your renewal notice. Help your unit keep your membership strong by reminding fellow members to renew before the end of the year.

Happy anniversary to us!

Five years ago, ALA National Headquarters moved to its new home at 3450 Founders Road in Indianapolis. 


The building’s stately design has been a perfect representation for the historic organization housed inside. Above the entrance of the building, the traditional American Legion Auxiliary emblem is proudly displayed. Upon entering, guests are welcomed into a rotunda adorned with pictures that represent the ALA’s rich history. Throughout the building, ALA and Legion Family items are displayed in cabinets, and special photos adorn the walls. Many historical items are on display in the Cavalcade of Memories history museum — a favorite highlight of visitors. The building also houses a training room that allows for some of the ALA’s meetings to be held on site versus in a rented meeting space. Those attending meetings in the training room are inspired by official portraits of every ALA national president lining the walls. 


We invite all ALA members to come visit us! If you are traveling through Indianapolis, give us a call at (317) 569-4500 and arrange a tour!  

Fundraising 4-1-1

Unwrap spirit of American craftsmanship with R. Riveter this holiday season

Dive into the heart of American craftsmanship with R. Riveter’s exceptional collection of handbags, satchels, sweatshirts, and accessories. Discover the perfect blend of style and purpose, all while supporting a remarkable cause. By choosing R. Riveter, you’re not just buying a product — you’re investing in a legacy of empowerment and supporting the dreams of military families across the nation. Visit their online store using an exclusive ALA link and embrace the joy of gifting with purpose with an additional 20% off. 

Good to know

Don’t let ALA scholarship deadlines sneak up on you. Applications for ALA national scholarships are due March 1, 2024. Encourage students who are eligible to apply during their holiday break! 


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 (state) headquarters office.


Increase your knowledge of the 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. Get started today! Log in with your member ID.


Help us increase our following on Instagram. You may be familiar with our social media accounts on Facebook, 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.

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

Are you on the fence about renewing your ALA membership?

Are you ready to renew your membership? You don’t have to do everything the ALA offers. Find one program that interests you most, and start asking questions. Ask to be on the committee to gain more knowledge. It will be fun and rewarding. Once you are more involved, you will gain a sense of belonging, which is followed by a greater sense of pride in both the organization and yourself. Read more about the benefits of renewing your ALA membership.

New York Legion Family honors servicemembers during unique holiday event

A ceremonial tree lighting is one way to honor our past and present servicemembers. The idea started last year when James R. Hickey American Legion Post 120 in Palmyra, N.Y., celebrated its first “Honoring Our Hometown Heroes” ceremonial tree lighting. Read more about the idea.

Save the date!

Dec. 15 – Last day to apply serve on an ALA national committee

Dec. 16 – Wreaths Across America Day

Dec. 24 – Christmas Eve

Dec. 25 – Christmas Day

Dec. 31 – New Year’s Eve

Jan. 1 – New Year’s Day

Jan. 11 – ALA national scholarships webinar

Quote of the month

“I knew I wanted to try for ALA Girls Nation because of the opportunity to be in the same place as two young women from every single state [program] is really just a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”


Ysabella Olsen, 2023 ALA Girls Nation President 

Legion Family News

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.


Do you want to volunteer at the 2024 National Oratorical Finals?


American Legion National Headquarters is looking for volunteers to help with the 2024 National High School Oratorical Contest Finals in its new location, Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Mich., May 18-19. Needed volunteer positions include judges, escorts, and holding room, and assigned topic room monitors.


Please note that National Headquarters will not provide any financial compensation for time or travel expenses associated with volunteer support. All expenses related to volunteering with the contest, such as travel, housing and food, are paid for by the volunteer.


The contest features more than 50 high school youth from across the country who deliver prepared speeches on the U.S. Constitution. The support of many volunteers is needed to conduct the contest, which will provide more than $203,500 in college scholarships.


Apply to volunteer

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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