Know the 5 W’s of community service

By Wanda Seidler, Community Service Chairman

Who do we serve? Veterans, active-duty military and their families, senior citizens, children and youth, families, everyone in our communities being inclusive to all.

What can we do? Meet basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter. Social needs such as phone calls, visits and cards. Other needs such as home and lawn care. Aesthetic needs such as beautification of community parks. Partner with other community organizations, especially those that support veterans. Promote other ALA programs. Wear ALA branding and smile!

When do we do this? Every day is a great day for community service! March is designated as ALA Community Service Month. The 2023-2024 National Community Service Program Engagement Plan highlights the following specific days — 9/11 National Day of Service, Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, and American Legion Family Day.

American Legion Family Day was established in 2022 to be observed annually on the last Saturday of April. Posts are encouraged to open their doors to members of their community for the day to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of Legionnaires, Sons of the American Legion members, Legion Riders and American Legion Auxiliary.

Use this day to bring awareness to The American Legion’s “Be the One” initiative to improve access and reduce the stigma around mental health services. Partner with your American Legion Family when planning and promoting your event. Be sure to make it a family event by providing activities for all age groups. Have a variety of informational brochures on hand, and membership applications available with members ready and willing to answer questions.

Where do we serve? Our communities, each with unique opportunities and challenges.

Why do we serve? “To strengthen our local communities with uniquely identified opportunities of service by providing volunteer leadership, encouraging the stewardship of its patriotic citizens, acknowledging our country’s military history, and supporting the families that have sacrificed for our freedom.”

It’s who we are.