Coming home may be the end of one journey for many veterans; it is also the beginning of a new journey to transition to a “new normal.” Helping them get there is at the core of the purpose and service of the American Legion Auxiliary. Members are passionate about providing care and comfort to our heroic U.S. service members who are so highly deserving of everything we can possibly do for them. At VA facilities, Auxiliary-sponsored gift shops and holiday parties have become a revered tradition and valued program. Members, units, and departments also purchase essential equipment and supplies for these facilities.
Service to Veterans volunteers are American Legion Auxiliary members who provide service to veterans outside a VAMC. Whether organizing a stand down, assembling care packages/tray favors/greeting cards, assisting with a veteran’s burial or gravesite upkeep, sewing, cooking, or shopping for active-duty military/veterans and/or their families, member volunteers are at the heart of the Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation Program structure.
ALA Christmas Gift Shops
Typically hosted at a VAMC or in a facility treating a large number of veterans, Christmas Gift Shops vary from location to location and department to department. Traditionally, American Legion Auxiliary volunteers and/or units and departments work together to collect donations or purchase items that are considered suitable gifts a hospitalized veteran can give to a family member or loved one. Gift Shops may be in a specific location, may take the form of a gift cart, or may travel from one physical location to another.
Sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival (NVCAF) is a weeklong event that showcases the creative achievements of veterans receiving treatment at VA facilities. With participation open to any veteran enrolled at a VA medical center or outpatient clinic, or one living in a state veterans home, approximately 120 medal-winning veterans are asked to participate at NVCAF each year. Veterans participate in various media, including visual arts such as painting, sculpting, and drawing, as well as preforming arts such as creative writing, dance, drama, and music. In addition to the national festival, participating VA facilities may also host local competitions, where volunteer help is always appreciated. Learn More
The American Legion Operation Comfort Warriors
Operation Comfort Warriors is a program of The American Legion established to meet the needs of wounded, injured, or ill military personnel by providing them with items not usually supplied by the government. These items include DVDs, books, electronics, sweatsuits, puzzles, calling cards, and even larger items such as ping-pong tables, computers, kayaks, and much more. With the number of wounded servicemembers on the rise in our nation, there is an increased need for comfort. For more information, visit www.legion.org/operationcomfortwarriors.
In April 1946, The American Legion Family joined forces with several other veterans service organizations, including the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), to form what is known as Veterans Affairs Voluntary Service (VAVS). Today, American Legion Auxiliary volunteers serve alongside members of the community as VAVS volunteers and as volunteers through the Auxiliary’s own Service to Veterans program.
VAVS supports VA and VHA (Veterans Health Administration) strategic goals by recruiting, supporting, and retaining a knowledgeable, diverse, and engaged supplemental workforce of volunteers to assist management in the delivery of VA healthcare by improving access to care, assisting with long-term care, improving patient satisfaction and much more. The Auxiliary is not the only group that provides VAVS volunteers, but we do have representatives who serve on the VA’s National Advisory Committee. Learn more about VAVS
American Legion Auxiliary National Headquarters