Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Membership: Ten Rounds of Competitions

Tami Elliott
Membership Ambassador

The new membership year begins July 1, and I will bring some fun little incentives to the Departments all year long. We will all work hard this year, but I want to make it fun, too! Here are the first three challenges. The rest will be announced in my upcoming promotions.

Ten Rounds of Competitions

A monthly challenge will be held within the 11 divisions of the Departments

Round 1:  Prize to the Department President in each Membership Group for the highest percentage of annual dues inputted (based on June 30, 2014 total annual members) from July 1 – August 31.

Round 2:  Prize to the Department Membership Chairman in each Membership Group for the highest percentage of annual dues inputted (based on June 30, 2014 total annual members) as of September 30, 2014.

Round 3:  Prize to the Department Treasurer in each Membership Group for the highest percentage of annual dues inputted (based on June 30, 2014 total annual members) as of October 31, 2014.

The winners and the prize won will be announced in my regular communications.

Best of luck and see you at the TOP!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Like Saving Money? Visit the *NEW* LAVFW Benefit Hub For Great Deals and Start Saving Today!

We're excited to announce our partnership with AmVantage and Benefit Hub!  Together we are pleased to offer you access to one of the nation's largest network of money-saving products and services in the insurance and benefits industry. Because

Which benefits are right for you?

Visit the LAVFW website today to find out!
  • Personal Protection    
  • Business Protection
  • Healthy Choice Discounts   
  • Lifestyle Assistance
Start saving today by following these 10 easy steps:
1. Go to https://ladiesauxvfw.benefithub.com/

2. Click on "Create a new account".

3. Enter Referral Code: HDDLQA.

4. Enter Your Email Address.

5. Confirm Your Email Address.

6. Click on "Get an Invite".

7. A box will appear that states "An invite will be sent to your email". Click "Close".

8. Go to your email and open the email from the BenefitHub and click "Create an account".

9. The link will take you to another page. Fill out all the information and click "Create an account."

10. Click "Continue to BenefitHub".

You will then be taken to the Ladies Auxiliary VFW BenefitHub.

Questions? Contact Megan at mzinn-sanchez@ladiesauxvfw.org.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Coming Soon to a Mailbox Near You: 2014-2015 Treasurer's Kits!





A 2014-2015 Treasurer's Kit will be mailed to each Auxiliary Treasurer and Department Treasurer that National Headquarters has a current address for. All kits will be shipped by May 31, 2014. Please allow until June 30 for delivery as this allows time for returned kits to be reshipped.

Each kit contains the following:

  • Pre-printed 2015 Membership Cards and Membership Listing
  • Blank 2015 Membership Cards
  • Treasurer's CD
  • Treasurer's Manual Changes Page
  • Automated Clearing House (ACH) letter - also known as Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) letter 
  • BenefitHub Flyer

Questions? Contact Cheryl Milburn at cmilburn@ladiesauxvfw.org

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Veterans Crisis Line: One Small Act Can Make a Difference

The Department of Defense (DOD) recently released its 2012 Suicide Event Report. The data summary of fatal and nonfatal suicide occurrences shows the following:
  • 13.5% of service members who committed suicide had military combat history. 
  • 319 service members who were on active duty committed suicide (this includes reserve and National Guard members on active duty orders).
  • 73 members of Selected Reserve Service committed suicide (not on active duty).
  • 130 members of the National Guard committed suicide (not on active duty).
The report also shows the following are at the greatest risk for suicide:
  • Males, ages 17-24 
  • Married
  • Pay grade E1 to E4
  • Experiencing legal and/or financial challenges
  • History of failed relationships
Click here to learn more about the report.

How you can help veterans who might be in crisis

It is a difficult topic to discuss, yet it matters so much. Those close to a veteran may be the first to notice signs of distress and can reach out for help before the issue escalates to the risk of suicide. 

Below are steps you can take to assist those who might be in crisis. 
  • Recognize warning signs:
    • Hopelessness, feeling like there’s no way out 
    • Anxiety, agitation, sleeplessness, or mood swings 
    • Feeling like there is no reason to live 
    • Rage or anger 
    • Engaging in risky activities without thinking 
    • Increasing alcohol or drug abuse 
    • Withdrawing from family and friends  
Learn more about warning signs here.
  • Spread the word about the Veterans Crisis Line, a free, confidential resource that Veterans and their families and friends can access any day, anytime.
    • Download Veterans Crisis Line materials and use them to spread the word about this free and confidential service. You can print posters, obtain logos to share on social media (Facebook, twitter, etc.) and download web ads to post on public websites (i.e. your Department or Auxiliary website). 
    • Talk about the Veterans Crisis Line at your next Auxiliary meeting. 
    • Encourage others to visit VeteransCrisisLine.net to become familiar with services offered.
  • If a veteran you know shows signs of crisis, please call 1-800-273-8255.
There are many actions we can take to assist veterans in crisis. Remember that crisis feels different to everyone; an event that might trigger suicidal thoughts in one person may not trigger the same thoughts in another. What you and others say or do matters. One small act can make a difference.

Friday, May 2, 2014

A Message from Jan Owens, National Secretary-Treasurer

What an exciting time of year this is…wrapping up all we have done for our veterans this year and electing those to lead us into the future.

Many of you will make this transition from one leadership team to another in fine fashion. Others may struggle a little, so I thought I would give you some pointers to help you through.

  • Make sure when you elect and install your officers that your Secretary logs into our website and enters those officers online. This is necessary in order for important information to reach your Auxiliary.
  • If you do not have access to a computer, mail it in and we will input it for you. We will soon be mailing Treasurers kits and if you had a change in that position, you’ll want to be sure we have the updated information for mailing.
  • Remember that all Presidents and Treasurers must be bonded prior to August 31, 2014. That, too, can be done easily and quickly online, or you may mail in the check and bonding information.
  • Don’t forget to go online to enter the delegates to the National Convention from your Auxiliary. If you fail to register the delegates by May 31, they will not be allowed to cast a vote.
  • Advance registration to the National Convention is $15 and must be completed online or mailed into National Headquarters prior to May 31. When you come to Convention your registration packets will be ready on Friday at the three major hotels for you to pick up and at the Convention Center after Friday. Each person must pick up her own packet. You will not be allowed to do so for anyone else. If you pre-register and do not attend, your packet will be mailed to you.
  • We will have many workshops (all programs and how-to on basic computer usage, plus Auxiliary Secretary and Auxiliary Treasurer) at National Convention this year. Please try to attend as many as possible.
The National Headquarters Staff and I want to thank you for your dedication to our veterans and for your patience in this long overdue effort to “go green”. What an awesome job many of you have done, and we want you all to know how much we appreciate everything you do for our organization and for our veterans. We are here for one purpose and one purpose only: to help you in any way we possibly can to fulfill our mission of service to veterans.


Monday, April 28, 2014

The Work We Do in VA Medical Centers

By Cara Day

National VAVS Representative Judy Millick and I, as National VAVS Deputy Representative, attended the VAVS National Advisory Committee Meeting in Cary, North Carolina, this past week, representing the Ladies Auxiliary VFW.

Here’s what you need to know: the new Director of Voluntary Service, Sabrina Clark, is a Rock Star. With a solid VA employment background and leadership training experience, Clark has everything it takes to bring the VAVS system forward. Her presentation on the state of VA Voluntary Service was both forward thinking and honest about the struggles facing voluntary service today. Judy and I found ourselves nodding along with Clark’s list of accomplishments and the list of goals. You can rest assured that the VAVS program is in good hands.

There were two themes that kept cropping up during the conference: trust and leadership. These two topics are worth exploring on an ongoing basis, and we were treated to two Franklin-Covey presenters who spoke on both topics. For instance, trust allows for things to get done faster, and in today’s perpetually time-strapped world, don’t we need certain things to happen faster? When we trust others and earn their trust, we allow things to happen at “the speed of trust.”

Leadership is a fascinating topic to me. I never tire of hearing great leadership stories, and they were everywhere last week. Chiefs of Voluntary Service starting new programs, volunteers taking the initiative to fill a need and organizations like ours stepping up to say, “Can’t we do this better?” Leaders are made, not born. We need leaders at every level of our organization, and I challenge us all to think about our leadership roles and find opportunities to both grow ourselves and, in turn, grow others, which is the end result of leadership.

There is one new VAVS programs worth mentioning, and we encourage all VAVS volunteers and Representatives/Deputies to look into: Warrior to Soul Mate (W2SM). This special program is just getting off the ground in certain VA Medical Centers, but it worth the effort to bring it to your facility and/or to support it. Based on one of the best curriculums in the nation, the program seeks to help veterans re-establish relationships. The retreats and workshops help veterans reconnect with spouses and others by giving them the communication tools they need to heal the bonds that may have been broken by combat.

How can our volunteers help? First, ask your Chief of Voluntary Service if the program can come to your facility. Then if it can, offer to support the events with facilities, child care for the couples, food or anything else that may help. At the test facilities, it has already proven to be an excellent tool in helping veterans renew and reconnect relationships, the very thing they fought to protect. Learn more here.

If you are not a VA volunteer, let me take this opportunity to invite you into one of the most rewarding volunteer programs in our country. Do you love your country? Do you want to honor and serve veterans? Then this is the place for you. Contact your local VA today and find a way to get involved.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Online Resources Help Veterans Understand Benefits

Do you know a veteran who has a question about disability compensation or needs more information about eBenefits?  The VA has recently launched new online resources that you can use to help veterans learn more about the benefits they deserve.

Infographic: VA Hiring

Informational videos and infographics concerning key veterans’ issues like the disability claims process and how to file claims online are available to download and share free of charge (links below).  You can help veterans get the information they need by sharing these resources by e-mail and posting it online – on your websites, newsletters, and social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter.
Take a look at the online tools below, and make sure veterans in your community are well-educated about their benefits. Be sure to bookmark this post so you can easily access the links at any time!