Friday, August 29, 2014

Chief of Staff/Extension: Healthy Auxiliary Toolkit

Vivian Bernotas
Chief of Staff/Extension

Are you using the information in the online Healthy Auxiliary Toolkit? This material has been compiled for you and provided in an easy-to-locate file. Check it out here:

What’s in your toolkit?
  • Meeting Agenda
    • Your LAVFW Meeting Agenda is a guide to help you with your auxiliary meetings. You can add your information to make it fit your Ladies Auxiliary meetings. This document will be very helpful when you are working on your year-end reports. Keep good notes and records now, and the year-end report will be very easy to complete. 

  • Auxiliary Meeting Clinic 
    • Use this to discuss common problems and offer solutions for Ladies Auxiliary meetings. I.e. is your meeting too long? Is there too much socializing going on? Do the same people speak up at every meeting? 
    • This also provides a checklist for what is needed for a Ladies Auxiliary meeting. 

  • Healthy Communication
    • Use this phone/text tree to promote Healthy Communication in your Ladies
      Auxiliary. Whenever members need to be contacted or reminded of meeting or events,
      the President first calls or texts the Senior Vice-President and Junior Vice-President.
      Then each of them would call/text the next person down on the tree. Each member would
      only have one other person to contact!

  • Good Job Certificate
    • This certificate is a sample of what you can use to present members who have done a "Good Job" in supporting the Ladies Auxiliary programs.

  • Healthy Auxiliary Member Questionnaire
    • NOW is the time to distribute the member questionnaire. You will want to gather feedback from your Ladies Auxiliary members now so you can address the areas that need attention, and, also celebrate the positive feedback you receive! This needs to be done early in the Program Year. “Good Health” is essential!

  • RU Healthy Checklist
    • Not sure what your Ladies Auxiliary needs to do to get healthy? This checklist details what is needed and provides deadlines to do so! 

  • Healthy Auxiliary Certificate
    • This certificate will be given to Auxiliaries that are deemed healthy by their Department Chief of Staff.

Remember to check on your new Ladies Auxiliaries often. Get them on the right track and let them know we are a team - with a mission - Unwavering Support for Uncommon Heroes!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Cancer Aid & Research: Educate. Raise Money. Teach.

Patricia Kemp
Cancer Aid & Research Ambassador  

Educate. Raise Money. Teach.
Who? Me?
Yes, YOU the Auxiliary member. Think of yourself this way…
  • You are Wonder Woman, with strength and courage
  • A Prince for Cinderella or Snow White
  • Zero for the People
  • The Wizard for Dorothy
  • Underdog, to save the day
We are not heroes like our veterans but, we can be heroes for a day, by making a difference.
  • Help raise money to fund our Cancer Grants and find a cure. 
  • Teach our members the signs of cancer. 
  • Show members the proper way of self examination.
Those are all part of our Cancer Aid & Research Program.

to the Department of Hawaii for being the first to meet the $2 per member goal. Chairman Serina Souza will receive her bracelet at President Ann’s Homecoming (award announced during the Cancer Aid & Research workshop at National Convention). Who will the other two winners be?

There is so much sadness connected with cancer, so let’s have some fun with the Cancer Aid & Research Program. Plan fun, exciting events that everyone, including community members, will want to come to.

Fall is just around the corner and provides great props for fun events. Think pumpkin patch, costume party, or bob-for-a-cure. Can’t wait to hear what your Auxiliaries and Departments do!

Remember to always give hugs and tell your Sisters you love them and show you care each day.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Americanism: Get Your Auxiliary Involved in some of September's Events!

Joyce Bilyeu
Americanism Ambassador

I hope you’re all enjoying spreading patriotism throughout our wonderful country. America needs us now more than ever to unite together as one voice in promoting the Americanism Program.   September has many opportunities that Auxiliaries should be participating in to honor and pay tribute to those who have served our country. Such as: 
  • Pay Tribute on September 11: Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance is the nation’s largest annual day of charitable engagement. In 2013, more than 47 million people from throughout the U.S. and in 150 countries observed September 11 by performing good deeds that help others. The goal of Patriot Day is to provide a positive way for all people to forever remember and pay tribute to the 9/11 victims, honor those that rose in service in response to the attacks, and remind people of the importance of working more closely together in peace to improve our world.
  • National POW/MIA Recognition Day: United States’ National POW/MIA Recognition Day is observed across the nation on the third Friday of September each year. In 2014, the date is September 19. Please pause to remember the sacrifices and service of those who were prisoners of war, as well as those who are missing in action (MIA), and their families. Don’t forget to pay tribute to the men who suffered the Bataan Death March. Be proud to education your members and community of these brave men and women.
  • Suicide Awareness and Prevention Month: Remember that we are to recognize the entire month of September as Military Suicide Awareness Month. To show those in our communities that we care and to promote awareness, members are to wear a teardrop sticker every day of the month to represent the millions of tears shed for every service member lost to suicide. The teardrop sticker template is available for download on the National Ladies Auxiliary to the Veterans of Foreign Wars website. NOTE: If you are concerned for a veteran please refer them to the Veterans Crisis Line at: 1-800-273-8255.
  • Gold Star Mother’s Day: September is also the month to honor our Gold Star Mothers. On June 23, 1936, a joint congressional resolution was designated to have the last Sunday in September as Gold Star Mothers' Day. A gold star symbolizes a family member who died in the line of duty while serving the United States Armed Forces.

Follow-up to Questions:
At National Convention during the Americanism Workshop, a question was asked regarding if it is okay to cut the stars out of the U.S. Flag in order to mail them to our troops. I promised that I would find the answer. Please share this information with your members.

Many well-meaning individuals have cut up soiled or worn Flags, sometimes cutting out stars and mailing them to our troops. Although this is a thoughtful gesture and appears on the Internet in several places, it is in fact, an inappropriate act and should not be conducted by any VFW Post or Ladies Auxiliary. 

In August 2000, at the VFW 101st National Convention, delegates passed a resolution establishing a U.S. Flag disposal program by fire for VFW Posts to conduct, privately or publicly, as follows:
  1. The Flag should be folded in its customary manner. (See VFW Ritual Book)
  2. It is important that the fire be sizeable and of sufficient intensity to ensure complete burning of the Flag.
  3. Place the Flag on the fire.
  4. The individual(s) can come to attention, salute the Flag, recite the Pledge of Allegiance and have a brief period of silent reflection.
  5. After the Flag is completely consumed, the fire should be safely extinguished and the ashes buried.
  6. Please make sure you are conforming to local/state fire codes or ordinances.
The resolution conforms to the intent and letter of the U.S. Code and the Federal Flag Code. This is the only acceptable way of handling U.S. Flags that are no longer fit to be flown. No other handling of a retired Flag is considered acceptable. This issue has been reviewed by VFW National leaders and confirmed as the policy for the Veterans of Foreign Wars and its Auxiliaries.

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

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

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

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 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.