Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Youth Activities: Chairman Awards

Lois Callahan
Youth Activities Ambassador

As Youth Activity Chairmen, we have the opportunity to be awarded for our work with young people in our communities. 
  • Each Department Chairman will receive a Citation for participation in this program.
  • Fireworks Gift Certificate to one Department chairman in each Membership Group for the best promotion of Youth Groups Supporting Our Veterans Citations.
  • Outstanding Performance Award in each Membership Group for the promotion of the Program Goals.
The Outstanding Performance award is selected by the National Ambassador (me). Chairmen are judged on quality, creativity and originality of all communications, promotions and events. There is a requirement of 4 mailed and/or emailed promotions.

So, keep those creative, original, and quality communications, promotions, and reports coming! I hope to see all of you in Anaheim, CA for Mid-Year Conference!

Have safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Veterans & Family Support: Donation Update - Operation Changing Lives

Leona McDermott
Veterans & Family Support Ambassador

The October numbers are in and congratulations to the Department of Florida for leading the nation in contributions in the amount of $33,127 to the National President and National Commander’s Special Project – Operation Changing Lives! We currently have received donations in the amount of $117,071.29. While contributions are coming in – we are still a long way from our goal of $1 million for this project.

For this same period, we have raised more than $500,000 for Cancer Aid & Research which begs the question – Why don’t we have the same amount of donations for our veterans? We are not asking for more money – we’re asking you to shift your fundraising efforts towards this very important program to serve our veterans. 

There is a veteran today who needs our help. As the female relatives of those who served overseas in combat, each of us has the ability to make a difference – to honor America’s greatest heroes – to do the right thing for our veterans and their families. The Ladies Auxiliary VFW is first and foremost a veterans’ service organization founded on the principle of helping veterans. They need your donation today!

The Veterans Service Officer program is the foundation that the VFW and its Ladies Auxiliary was built upon and defines us most as advocacy organizations. The effort to support Operation Changing Lives is vital to expanding and maintaining a program that reaches virtually every generation of veteran as well as their families. Your efforts initiative will help provide veterans and their families a path toward securing:
  • educational benefits
  • VA compensation
  • medical care
  • family services,
and ultimately helping those who deserve it most live a full and productive life - something that our veterans have earned and deserve.

Please send your donation today to:
VFW National Headquarters
Attn: Operation Changing Lives
406 W. 34th St.
Kansas City, MO 64111

I believe in each and every one of you because I believe with all my heart and soul that you won’t let our veterans down. Please help make this goal a reality for our veterans and their families!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Scholarships: Deadlines, Deadlines, Deadlines

Christine Begin
Scholarships Ambassador

Hard to believe its November already and two of the contests in the Scholarship Program are winding down: Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen.

Deadlines. Deadlines. Deadlines. They are so important for every contest, but especially for the Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen competitions. The first deadline of November 1st for students to enter these contests at the Post/Auxiliary level has passed, and next are the following deadlines:
  • November 15:  Post judging to be completed and winner(s) advanced to the District level.
  • December 15:  District judging to be competed and one winner sent to Department.
  • January 10:  Department judging should be completed.
  • January 15:  Department winner sent to VFW National Headquarters.
Remember it is crucial the Ladies Auxiliary Chairman at each level work together with her VFW counterpart. These are VFW contests. However, Auxiliary members work extremely hard for this program, and working together will help ensure a successful program.

Wishing you and your families a very Happy Thanksgiving. Don’t forget to hug a Vet and say “Thank you for your service.”

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Membership: Incentives for YOU and Your Department

Tami Elliott
Membership Ambassador

Last night we had a Potato Bake and Auction at our local VFW. We’re not talking about a big Post; my own Auxiliary has 70 total members, but only about 10 real active women. Not a lot of people, but we work hard. Last night we raised over $1,100.00! How did we do it? By getting the word out. We made sure as many people were aware of this event as possible.
  • Flyers
  • Phone calls
  • E-mail
  • Bulletins
  • Networking with other veteran’s groups 
These were all part of our communication efforts. People will get involved if they are aware of what is happening. 

So…are your members aware of the membership incentives this year?
  • National Membership Achievement Award
    Ladies Auxiliary and VFW Post members who recruited 20 new or reinstated members will be honored at the National Convention in 2015 for making an extra effort. Plus $50 to your Department. Drawings will be held Jan. 10, April 10 and June 10.
  • “Knock Out Recruiter” Pin
    Sign up 5 members and you and/or VFW Post member will be awarded a really cool Recruiter Pin that you can wear with pride, showing all your sisters that you are committed to keeping our membership levels high.
  • Auxiliaries at 100%+
    Earn $30 and their name place in a drawing for $3,000, $2,000 or $1,000, to be used within our programs.
  • Treasurer at 100%+
    Name will be placed in a drawing.
  • Department Awards
    Departments will receive cold, hard cash for hitting membership benchmarks:
    • $100 for 85%
    • $100 for 91%
    • $100 for 95%
    • $200 for 98%
    • $300 for 100%+
    • $200 for 101%
If our members don’t know about the incentives, how in the world can they earn them?

Just like the Potato Bake, it takes hard work to get the word out, but the effort is worth it!

Let's continue to work as a TEAM and build a Legacy Year!


Monday, November 10, 2014

Cancer Aid & Research: You are the Key to a Successful Program

Patricia Kemp
Cancer Aid & Research Ambassador

Helen Keller said, "As individuals we can do so little…together we can do so much." No truer words were ever said. It takes all of us working together to make our Cancer Aid & Research Program the best it can be!
  • According to the American Cancer Society, there are nearly 14 million cancer survivors in the United States today. I am so pleased that Auxiliaries all over America are having "Celebrations of Life." Keep up the good work and spread that love throughout your communities.
  •  LOVE can be a noun or verb. Either way, it is showing concern, feelings, and attraction to others. At my workshop during National Convention, I talked about the Gold Invisible Cord that unites us. I asked all to make that cord visible this year. How? By showing our members and our communities we care. Only through kindness and concern for others, will we be able to continue our good works.
  • A chain is only as strong as its’ weakest link. That is why it takes each one of us to make our Cancer Program OUTSTANDING! Eight Departments have made their $2 per-member goal, yet we still have nine Departments that have not sent in any donations. I know that each one of you are working hard and will have your $2 per-member in this year!
  • Has your Auxiliary had a Cancer education program? Early detection of cancer and treatment give a patient a greater chance of survival. Urge annual check-ups.
  • Do you know where to get a Cancer Grant application? Has someone in your Auxiliary told you what a Caner Grant is, where the money comes from and who can get one? If the answer is no to any of these questions, ask your Cancer Chairman about having a education program, to make all members aware of what our Cancer Aid & Research Programs consists of.
YOU are the KEY to a successful program and year!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Legislative: Student Veteran Fellowship Program

Kathy Schreiber
Legislative Ambassador

The November 4 Election Day results are posted, and regardless of the outcome, it is important for our elected officials to hear our voices! Keep it loud and strong! What we can enjoy with a “sigh of relief” are the TV ads that have turned from political campaigning to holidays cheer. So if I may, here is my “ad” in regards to the VFW and Student Veterans of America (SVA) Fellowship Program that was introduced in October on the VFW website. 



The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States announced a new program developed in conjunction with Student Veterans of America (SVA) that will offer legislative fellowship opportunities for up to 10 student veterans to join VFW advocates on Capitol Hill next March.
Student veterans interested in the new VFW-SVA Legislative Fellowship must complete an application package that includes an essay discussing one of the VFW’s Legislative Priority Goals, and how that priority goal applies to the veterans’ community at large. Selected fellows will then be flown to Washington, D.C., to storm Capitol Hill alongside fellow veterans’ advocates as part of the 2015 VFW Legislative Conference, March 1-5. All applications must be submitted to the VFW by Dec. 31, 2014.

VFW-SVA Legislative Fellowships are open to student veterans at SVA chapters nationwide. Candidates must also satisfy VFW membership criteria. Full details can be found here:

Whether you consider this Student Veteran Fellowship Program a Scholarship or part of the Legislative Program, Ladies Auxiliary VFW members will do what they do best and promote! We are doing what is right for our future generations.

This is also my opportunity to say “Happy Thanksgiving." I wish you all safe travels. Please take time and visit a veteran and give them “thanks” during the holiday weekend. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Hospital: Simple Things Make a Big Difference

Grace Matz
Hospital Ambassador

As Veterans Day and Thanksgiving approach, I’d like to pass on some ideas that chairmen have shared with me that you could implement in the medical facilities you volunteer at. These are simple things they are doing to make a big difference in someone’s life!
  • Needlepoint
    I received several beautiful needlepoint items that are being made and distributed to patients in medical facilities. They included a notebook cover, checkbook cover, coupon caddy, and datebook cover. 
  • Sewing
    The eyeglass cases we discussed during our workshop is an easy project. There are also wheelchair towels which my own Department Chairman is doing. Another Department has distributed patterns for wheelchair/walker caddies.
  • Decorating
    One Department is decorating a patient’s door. What a great way to brighten someone’s day! This can be done year-round by decorating the door with different You could also put up a picture or two, or perhaps a flower or plant could be just the thing to add cheer to someone's room.
So let’s put on our thinking caps and see how creative we can be. Think about what YOU can do to make a difference. Perhaps you could bring/read magazines and/or books. Get youth involved by having them decorate Veterans Day cards to hand out at the facility. It could be something as simple as a tray favor. Just ask the facility to put them on the tray when distributing meals to patients.

With Veterans Day less than a week away, the possibilities to honor our veterans are endless. Need some inspiration? Check out National's Pinterest page for ideas. At the very least, providing veterans with American flag with a heartfelt "thank you" could make a world of difference.

Wishing you and your family a Happy Veteran’s Day and a very Happy Thanksgiving!