Our commitment to children and youth remains strong

Dear American Legion Family and Friends,

April is a time when many of us look forward to the annual American Legion youth programs. Highlights include the National Public Speaking Finals in Indianapolis, April 23-24. Hotly followed are summer programs like American Legion Baseball, Junior Shooting Sports, Boys State and Boys Nation, and others that help create the leaders of tomorrow.

The Oratory Finals will feature 49 young American Legion Department Oratory Laureates who will speak about the U.S. Constitution and compete for more than $203,000 in scholarships.

For the past 84 years, the American Legion has supported today’s youth as we observe April as Children and Youth Month. Throughout this month, members of the American Legion Family show their local communities our commitment to youth by organizing youth activities, promoting the many youth programs of the American Legion, or getting involved in programs and organizations that support young people.

For even more ideas, check out the American Legion’s April Is Children & Youth Month brochure.

But, as you know, Children & Youth is one of the four pillars from which the American Legion was built. Our founders envisioned a veterans service organization that would prioritize youth mentorship in several ways.

I believe they would be proud of the work we do to improve the lives of young people in our communities. And this devotion can be found not only in April, but every calendar day.

Here are some ways American Legion Family members can fulfill their commitment to the youth in their communities:

· Register for the third annual 100 Miles for Hope, which runs until September 5th. Proceeds from registrations and donations will go directly to the American Legion Veterans & Children Foundation, which supports our temporary financial assistance program that ensures children of active duty military personnel and legionnaires are supported during a financial crisis. unexpected family. As part of 100 Miles for Hope, you can also create fitness opportunities for young people, like this post in Virginia did last year.

· Organize an arts and crafts day, a community picnic with relay races and face painting, organize a nature hike or help plant a community garden.

Contact local schools to see if you can teach flag etiquette, share what the flag means and why we recite the Pledge of Allegiance to young people in the classroom.

· Organize a community dinner at the station to raise funds for the Child Welfare Foundation. CWF has provided more than $19 million in grants since 1954 to nonprofit organizations that contribute to the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being of children and youth in this country.

It is through the American Legion that young people can learn patriotism, respect for the American flag, and experience what it means to serve their communities. The American Legion is where families go to feel a sense of community and give back to those who gave us our freedom. It’s another way to do it…

Veterans make America stronger.

For God and Country,

Paul E. Dillard

national commander

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