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VETERANS & FAMILY SUPPORT

LADIES AUXILIARY CONTINUING EDUCATION SCHOLARSHIP

An eligible member of the Ladies Auxiliary, her spouse, daughter or son may apply for a $1,000 scholarship to further their education by pursuing a college degree or a career direction at the technical school of their choice. One scholarship will be awarded in each of our four Ladies Auxiliary VFW Conferences. Applicants must be 18 years of age; the qualifying member of the Ladies auxiliary must have been a member for one year prior to application. Application forms will be mailed to each Department Chairman or are available on the Auxiliary Web site. Applications must be completed in full and received at the Ladies Auxiliary VFW National Headquarters by February 15, 2009.

MILITARY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (MAP)

This program is designed to link our VFW and Ladies Auxiliary with the military community. The MAP program provides financial assistance for Posts, Auxiliaries, Districts and Departments to sponsor events for military units of active=duty, National Guard and Reserves. A MAP grant application is available on the VFW Web sit. This must be submitted a minimum of three weeks prior to the event. The check received must be used by the Post, Auxiliary, District or Department to conduct the event; the check may not simply be given to the military unit or Family Readiness Group. The MAP program also provides assistance with postage for mailing of care packages to our military units. There are specific guidelines and applications for this monetary assistance. Information is available at www.vfwdepartmentresources.org.

UNMET NEEDS

Since the beginning of this program in June 2004, Unmet Needs has provided nearly $1.5 million of support to families of American serving in harm’s way. Administered by the VFW Foundation, Unmet Needs was created to provide assistance to help meet unanticipated financial demands on our service members’ families. As the risk continues abroad and at home, more of our troops are being activated and demands on our military families continue to grow. Corporate sponsors play a very major role providing financial assistance, but they do not meet the entire financial need. It is the individual monetary gifts, skill, talent and donation of time by our members that make this program a success. This year the amount for financial assistance has been increased to $2500 in grants per family, which do not need to be repaid. In addition, service member eligibility has been increased to serve active duty within the three years prior to applying. Refer to the Web site, www.vfwdepartmentresources.org or www.unmetneeds.org, to obtain the application and all the information on eligibility and allowed expenses.

ADOPT-A-UNIT
Since this program began, more than 600 military units have been adopted by Posts and Ladies Auxiliaries. Providing care packages to deployed units or those that have been activated and serving in the states gives those in uniform much-needed necessities along with games magazines and items that provide a respite from the stress of their military responsibilities. Whether it is organizing deployment or welcome-home parties, helping with lawn care, baby-sitting or offering free tax services, adopting a unit can take on many varied functions. Work in conjunction with your VFW Department Family Support Officer or contact VFW National Headquarters for specific unit information.

EDUCATION

Very important to our veterans and their dependents is education regarding their entitlements. Any honorably discharged veteran is eligible to enroll in the VA Healthcare System. Providing assistance with eligibility and helping with navigation through the VA system is the Veteran’s Service Officer. A Service Officer can make the difference in benefits and services that are available to the veteran and their spouse in the VA Healthcare System. Utilize these Service Officers; invite them to speak at an organized meeting involving the entire community. They have a wealth of knowledge and are a veteran’s best advocate.

SNOWBALL EXPRESS

Days to smile, laugh and take home wonderful memories for the children of our military heroes who have lost their lives while honorably serving since September 11, 2001. These children and widows found they aren’t forgotten. They spend time with celebrities, visit Disneyland and are treated to other special events. The children and the surviving parent or guardian are flown to the chosen destination, all expenses paid. Visit the Web site, www.snowbllexpress,org, for detailed information. Open the purse and heart of your Auxiliary and donate to this wonderful project.

FISHER HOUSE

It really isn’t a house; it is a “home.” Fisher House provides all the comforts of home to the family members of our military during their hospitalization for injury, disease or unexpected illness. These military members are stationed worldwide and many times must travel great distances for specialized medical care. There is at least one Fisher House at every major military medical center to provide a sup0portive, safe and well-cared for environment for the family during the trying dates of their loved one’s hospitalization. There is no charge for any family to stay at the Fisher House. These houses are operated by donations. Please visit their Web sit to fin the Fisher House nearest you, www.fisherhouse.org. To keep these wonderful facilities open for our military families your Auxiliary donations are much appreciated.

WREATHS ACROSS AMERICA

It began with the wish to bring children and veterans together. A means to express appreciation for the past, present and future sacrifices that our veterans and their families made and continue to make for this country. On December 13, 2008, hundreds of wreaths will be laid in cemeteries on the graves of our veterans throughout the U.S. This is a wonderful program to involve youth organizations. The hope of this project is to “remember – honor – and teach” our youth that freedom isn’t free. Find a participating location in your state or region. Get involved with the wreath-laying ceremony, sponsor wreaths. Visit their Web site at www.wreathsacrossamerica.org.

BUDDY POPPY

The Buddy Poppy represents the blood shed by American service members and is to remind us of their sacrifices. Today these poppies are assembled by disabled veterans in VA Hospitals, domiciliary and in state veteran’s homes. All the proceeds from the distribution of these poppies are used for veteran welfare or for the well-being of their needy dependents and the orphans of veterans. At the Post and Auxiliary level, all proceeds are placed in a Relief Fund solely for this purpose.

Any day can be a great day for a Buddy Poppy Drive. Involve Junior Girls, Boy/Girl Scouts, Jr. ROTC and other community organizations in you Buddy Poppy Drive. Get publicity with local newspapers, radio and television stations. Make certain you have the necessary permits if required for your drives. Remember: you are not “selling” you are “distributing.” Promote the use of Buddy Poppies with decorations and contests. Remember to use at least one poppy in its original form.

VFW NATIONAL HOME FOR CHILDREN

There are 629 acres of rolling green hills, trees, ponds, smiling faces and hopes of a new beginning, which are just a few of the factors that make up the VFW National Home for Children. The Home’s longstanding eligibility has been broadened to include a parent who is active-duty regardless of VFW membership or eligibility and who is unable to provide adequate care through the approved military family plan. Refer to the VFW National Home Web site for detailed criteria for eligibility. The VFW National Home for Children totally depends on donations from the members of our great organizations for its funding. It does NOT receive any state or federal funding.

One method of funding for the Home is our Health & Happiness/Christmas Cheer Fund; a minimum donation of 10 cents per member based on you June 30 Auxiliary membership quota. The Life Membership Program/Memorial Life Membership and the Charitable Life Annuity Fund and the VFW National Home for Children Seals Appeals are ongoing methods to assist with funding to help ensure the financial viability of this organization. The Campbell’s Labels for Education Program now requires the UPC codes to be submitted form the labels. Refer to the Web site for detailed guidelines on the submission of these labels, www.vfwnationalhome.org.

Our veteran population is taking on a new face; it is younger due to the ongoing conflicts around the world; added to that is the increased aging of the veteran population due to better health care. This simply means more veterans and more family members of veterans need our help.



Your auxiliary must participate in a minimum of
Three (3) segments of the
Veterans and Family Support Program
To qualify for awards.

 

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