ATTENTION: ANNUAL MEMBERS DUES ARE $25.00 AND DUE BY DECEMBER 31, 2021
ATTENTION: ANNUAL MEMBERS DUES ARE $25.00 AND DUE BY DECEMBER 31, 2021
Outdoor Wellness Program for Veterans and First Responders Helps with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) And Traumatic Brain Injury(TBI) while providing much needed Camaraderie and Support. Founded In 2007 For Veterans and Active Duty Military
• All Volunteer – Led Chapters
• There are Seven (7) Chapters in Florida
• Primary proven therapy is Kayak Fishing
Membership & Recruitment
Membership in the VFW Auxiliary is an excellent way to show your support of America’s veterans. If you are a member, we encourage you to participate and to ask someone else to join. If you are not a member, we invite you to join us as we work to improve the lives of America’s veterans, active-duty service members and their families and communities across this great nation.
Your membership dues support the VFW Auxiliary’s original objectives by supporting the Veterans of Foreign Wars, serving veterans, active-duty service members and their families, and spreading patriotism nationwide.
VFW Auxiliary members are instrumental in assisting the VFW pass or block legislation that impacts veterans and their families. Each year, members contact legislators to share our views regarding such legislation with them and invite them to share their positions on veterans’ issues; we hold legislators accountable for honoring America’s promises to our nation’s veterans.
The Legislative Program:
Priority Goals reflect the resolutions passed by the VFW to strengthen and ensure an adequate VA system for millions of current and future veterans. They call for much-needed attention to crises and are grouped under six areas of concern:
· Health Care
· Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs
· Education, Employment and Transition Assistance
· Military Quality of Life
· National Security, Foreign Affairs and POW/MIA
· Promotes Action Corp
· Stay informed and up-to-date on issues facing our veterans, our military and their families by signing up to receive the VFW’s Action Corps Weekly e-newsletter. The VFW Action Corps is free and open to all patriotic Americans who care about the military and veterans’ communities.
· Encourages all citizens to exercise their right to vote and contact legislators regarding issues impacting veterans and their families.
The VFW Auxiliary is proud to offer and participate in scholarship contest’s that promote patriotism, assist students in furthering their education and help students reach their full potential.
The Scholarship Program:
· Promotes and conducts the VFW Auxiliary Continuing Education Scholarship
This scholarship is open at any VFW Auxiliary member (who has belonged for at least a year), his/her spouse, son or daughter with a financial need. Entrant must be at least 18 years old. A $1,000 scholarship will be awarded to an applicant in each of the four VFW Auxiliary Conferences.
· Promotes and conducts the VFW Auxiliary Young American Creative Patriotic Art Contest.
This contest is open to all students, including home-schooled students, in grades 9-12. The national first-place winner will receive a $15,000 scholarship.
· Promotes and supports the VFW Patriot’s Pen Essay Contest.
This contest is open to all students, including home-schooled students, in grades 6-8. Student must be a resident of the state where entered. The national first-place winner will receive $5,000.
· Promotes and supports the VFW Voice of Democracy Audio-Essay Contest.
· This contest is open to all students, including home-schooled students, in grades 9-12. Student must be a resident of the state where entered. The national first-place winner will receive a $30,000 scholarship.Are your customers raving about you on social media? Share their great stories to help turn potential customers into loyal ones.
VFW Auxiliary members have been working to meet the needs of hospitalized veterans in VA Medical Centers and other medical facilities since the organization’s inception in 1914. Auxiliary members volunteer more than 875,000 hours annually and one in eight member’s volunteers through the Hospital Program.
The Hospital Program:
· Promotes volunteerism of members, non-members, youth and families in local hospitals, veterans’ homes, nursing homes, and both VA and non-VA medical centers and clinics. Opportunities vary based on the facility and age and abilities of the volunteer.
· Promotes Veterans Voices Writing Project.
· Established in 1946, Veterans’ Voices Writing Project provides a way for every veteran to express themselves by utilizing therapeutic writing to rehabilitate veterans. Therapeutic writing has been shown to help with managing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms and reducing the risk of suicide.
· Promotes Veteran and Military Suicide Awareness and Prevention
Each day, an estimated 20 veterans commit suicide. You can help lower this number and make a difference in the life of a veteran or service member in crisis by educating yourself and others about the warning signs of suicide.
· The Veteran & Military Suicide Awareness Blue Teardrop Sticker is the VFW Auxiliary’s symbol to give this issue the attention it so desperately needs. Wear the teardrop to open a conversation; when asked what the teardrop is, share that it’s to create awareness for veteran and military suicide.
· The Veteran’s Crisis Hotline connects veterans in crisis and their families and friends with qualified, caring Department of Veterans Affairs, responders through a confidential toll-free hotline, online chat, or text. Veterans and their loved ones can call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, chat online, or send a text message to 838255 to receive confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Support for deaf and hard of hearing individuals is available.
Chief of Staff/Extension
The Chief of Staff/Extension Program:
· Establishes New Auxiliaries.
· Interested in starting an Auxiliary? Whether a VFW Post decides on its own that it wants an Auxiliary or whether a member or non-member sees the potential for a new Auxiliary, the steps for creating an Auxiliary are the same:
1. A VFW Post must vote by 2/3 majority to have an Auxiliary. (An Auxiliary can never exist on its own without a Post and can never be started without that Post’s permission).
2. The Department President appoints the official organizer of that Auxiliary and he/she must be a member of the VFW Auxiliary.
3. A minimum of 15 eligible applicants must be on the application for the Charter (transfers are not eligible).
4. From there, it’s a matter of securing and filling out the proper paperwork provided by VFW Auxiliary National Headquarters. Every Department President, Secretary and Chief of Staff has access to these forms.
· Maintains Current Auxiliaries.
· The national organization requires only five (5) things of a VFW Auxiliary:
1. Auxiliaries should have at least ten (10) business meetings per year. (Sec. 210) Five (5) members in good standing shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. (Sec 212)
2. Dues should be paid on at least ten (10) members on or before February 1 of the current year. (Sec. 207)
3. Quarterly audits by Trustees must be submitted. (Sec. 814)
4. Officers elected and installed and reported to National Headquarters no later than June 30. This generates the bond application via email. (Sec. 804A & 806A)
5. The offices of President and Treasurer MUST be bonded by August 31. (Sec. 814) This form can be found on the Treasurer’s Kit CD.
The VFW Auxiliary works to teach our nation’s youth the skills to become responsible adults through serving our country, communities, veterans and active-duty service members. We engage youth in positive volunteer experiences and believe every young person can find a place to serve that will improve their lives, as well as the lives they touch.
The Youth Activities Program:
· Sponsors and works with youth groups such as:
· Youth sports teams
· Church youth groups
· After-school programs
· Youth-focused organizations
· School clubs
· Home-school associations
· Youth community service groups
· Nonprofit organization youth advisory councils
· Service learning and civic departments in high schools and colleges
· Recognizes Random Acts of Patriotism (R.A.P.)
We encourage and reward patriotism through R.A.P. If a child is seen thanking a veteran, properly placing their hand on their heart during the Pledge of Allegiance or involved in some other activity that promotes patriotism, we suggest giving them a R.A.P. card and/or coin. It’s a fun and unique way to engage children elementary age and younger!
· Youth Groups Supporting Our Veterans
Youth groups can be recognized for their efforts and service projects honoring our veterans and assisting active-duty military and their families. Great traditions and citizenship start at an early age. We recognize these bright young citizens for their good work to ensure these activities become a part of their daily lives.
Veterans & Family Support
Veterans, active-duty service members and their families often face unexpected challenges and the VFW Auxiliary is here to assist them in their time of need. Since its founding in 1914, the VFW Auxiliary has worked tirelessly to offer financial and moral support to those who need it most.
The Veterans & Family Support Program:
· Offers support for veterans, service members and their families. Our Veterans and Family Support Resource Card includes a list of 20 organizations and agencies that offer support to veterans, active-duty military and their families.
· VFW’s National Veterans Service (NVS) helps veterans, service members and their families obtain the benefits they deserve – free of charge. NVS provides a nationwide network of more than 1,900 VA-accredited VFW Service Officers across America and abroad who help hundreds of thousands of veterans navigate the Veterans Affairs system each year. In 2016, VFW’s service officers recovered more than $7 billion (yes, billion!) in earned benefits and compensation for veterans and their dependents, which includes $1.2 billion in new claims. Service officers assist all veterans, whether they are VFW members or not, in filing claims for:
· Disability compensation
· Rehabilitation and education programs, including GI Bill benefits
· Pension and death benefits
· Employment and training programs
· Promotes VFW’s Veterans & Military Support Programs
The VFW’s Veteran & Military Support Programs serve active-duty and recently discharged members of the military.
· VFW’s “Sport Clips Helps A Hero Scholarship” provides service members and veterans with scholarships of up to $5,000 to complete their educational goals without incurring excessive student load debt.
Unmet Needs is there to help America’s service members who have run into unexpected financial difficulties. The program provides financial aid of up to $5,000 to assist with basic life needs in the form of a grant – not a loan – so no repayment is required. To further ease the burden, the creditor is paid directly. The financial hardship must be due to one of the following reasons:
· Currently on active duty, whose financial hardship is a result of a current deployment, military pay error, or from being discharged due to medical reasons
· Discharged on or after September 11, 2001, whose financial hardship is a direct result of your military service connected injuries and/or illnesses that are causing an employment hardship.
· Discharged prior to September 11, 2001, who are on a fixed income (VA compensation, SSI, SSDI) and/or your financial hardship is an emergency situation.
· The Military Assistance Program helps provide financial assistance to VFW Post and Auxiliaries to sponsor troop send-offs, homecomings and get-togethers. Posts and Auxiliaries participating in Adopt-A-Unit and Family Readiness Groups can also receive assistance.
The “Buddy”® Poppy/VFW National Home for Children Program:
The VFW conducted its first poppy distribution before Memorial Day in 1922, becoming the first veterans’ organization to organize a nationwide distribution. The next year, the VFW decided that VFW “Buddy”® Poppies would be assembled by disabled and needy veterans who would be paid for their work. VFW “Buddy”® Poppies are still assembled by disabled and needy veterans in VA Hospitals, providing compensation to the veterans who assemble the poppies. The poppy program also provides financial assistance in maintaining state and national veterans’ rehabilitation and service programs and partially supports the VFW National Hoe for Children.
For more than 90 years, the National Home has helped military and veteran families who need a fresh start. Families can live there rent-free for up to four years and have access to professional case management services, on-site licensed child care, life skills training, tutoring and other educational services as well as recreational and community service opportunities. Families find healing in a safe and peaceful environment of tree-lined streets, 42 single-family homes, facilities such as a gym, library, computer and science labs, day care center, playgrounds, fishing pond, hiking trails, and more!
The National Home’s Military & Veteran Family Helpline is the first step on the path to help for military and veteran families. This free service helps callers with pressing needs nationwide seek solutions in their own communities. The Helpline is answered by caring professionals M-F 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Eastern, except holidays. Messages left after hours and on weekends are answered the next business day. Contact the Helpline at 800.313.4200.
“Americanism is an unfailing love of country, loyalty to its institutions and ideas; eagerness to defend it against all enemies; undivided allegiance to the flag; and a desire to secure the blessings of liberty and posterity.”
The Americanism Program:
· Promotes Patriotism by celebrating America’s Patriotic Days
· Teaches respect and proper care for the U.S. Flag.
· Brings attention to Prisoners of War and those Missing in Action by hosting POW/MIA ceremonies to both educate the public and honor these special veterans.
· Recognizes the nation’s top classroom elementary, junior high (middle school) and high school teachers who teach citizenship education topics regularly and promote America’s history and traditions effectively. Teachers who are prime candidates for the Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Award promote civic responsibility, flag etiquette and patriotism.
When an Auxiliary member, group of members or an entire Auxiliary volunteers for an organization outside our own, it should be considered Auxiliary Community Outreach if the project was approved by the Auxiliary and recorded in the meeting minutes prior to the project. Examples include:
Delivering food for Meals on Wheels.
The Mentoring for Leadership Program incorporates respecting the Auxiliary’s past, embracing the present and planning for our organization’s future by pairing experienced Auxiliary leaders with members who wish to expand their knowledge of the our organization. Mentoring for Leadership:
The Historian/Media Relations Program encompasses memory keeping and collecting the five W’s, the who-what-where-when and-why of an Auxiliary. Members involved with this program compile and chronicle memories and events in written format, photographs, memorabilia and print news/video clips. They also spread the word about our valuable National Programs and share how we are making a positive impact in the lives of veterans, active-duty service members and their families in thousands of communities across the country.