The Auxiliary's Americanism program promotes patriotism and responsible citizenship and strives to uphold and promote American ideals and the principles of democracy. The goal of the Auxiliary's Americanism program is to educate every citizen on the fundamentals of American government, the Bill of Rights and the value of active, informed involvement in the home, in the Auxiliary organization and in the community. Most successful Americanism programs are cooperative efforts between an Auxiliary Unit and its community. Contributions donated to the Spirit of Youth Foundation by individuals, organizations and members' estates, benefit young people through such programs as the Americanism Youth Conference at Freedom's Foundation and the National President's Scholarship program.
The Citizens Flag Alliance is an apolitical, non-partisan confederation of organizations and individuals who wish to protect the United States flag from acts of physical desecration. The Citizens Flag Alliance's goal is to pass a Constitutional amendment prohibiting flag desecration. The American Legion Auxiliary joined this effort in 1994 due to its belief that the flag is unique, deserving proper respect, care and protection.
Auxiliary Emergency Fund
The Auxiliary Emergency Fund is an excellent example of the Auxiliary's dedication to "Women Helping Women." The fund, established in 1969, is supported by memorial contributions from Auxiliary Units and members. It provides temporary emergency financial assistance to Auxiliary members who have exhausted all other personal and community resources. For members who find themselves suddenly single, deserted, divorced, or widowed, with no skills to support themselves or their families, the Displaced Homemakers Fund provides immediate aide to help the member acquire new job skills through schooling or job training.
Cavalcade of Memories
Auxiliary members feel an obligation to preserve the history and traditions of their organization. The Cavalcade of Memories was established in 1972 at the Auxiliary's Indianapolis Headquarters to house valuable, historical keepsakes collected and contributed by different Departments throughout the years. Today, more than 80 year's worth of Auxiliary memorabilia is on display in the Cavalcade and throughout National Headquarters.
Children and Youth
The Auxiliary's Children and Youth program provides care and strives to improve conditions for all children. The program works to preserve the integrity of the family unit and takes a realistic approach to the needs of children by considering the physical and spiritual, as well as the emotional and educational aspects, of each situation. The Children and Youth program cooperates with many other public and private community agencies and organizations and supports essential legislation for children at the national, state, and local levels. In some cases, the program offers direct financial assistance and services to individual children or to the families of veterans. Auxiliary members also contribute to The American Legion Child Welfare Foundation, which was established in 1954 to fund special programs and projects which emphasize preventative solutions to difficult children's issues. Educating members and the general public about these issues is a primary goal of the Auxiliary's Children and Youth program.
The Auxiliary's Community Service program is based on the premise that no organization has a right to exist within the community without giving something to that community in return. Community service helps to make our communities better places in which to live. Auxiliary members study community needs, recommend projects, raise funds and donate their time to accomplish their specific objectives. Special attention is given to the selection of each project to ensure that the work of other organizations is not duplicated. Auxiliary Units also provide assistance on Community Service projects sponsored by American Legion Posts and work with other organizations to implement practical, worthwhile projects for the benefit of the community. Some examples include, blood drives, first aid and CPR training, child safety programs, support for women in shelters, donations to shelters for the homeless, tree plantings, recycling programs, and disaster and emergency preparedness programs.
Junior Auxiliary membership for girls under the age of 18 is a training ground which prepares young women for active adult membership. Junior activities and programs reflect and support the work of the Auxiliary and instill the ideals of the organization. The Junior program is an important step in the transition from childhood to responsible adulthood. At age 18, Junior members automatically are eligible for full, active membership.
The Poppy Program is the oldest and most widely recognized Auxiliary program. Each year around Memorial Day, Auxiliary volunteers distribute millions of bright red crepe paper poppies in exchange for contributions to assist disabled and hospitalized veterans. The program provides multiple benefits to the veterans and to the community. The hospitalized veterans who make the flowers are able to earn a small wage which helps to supplement their incomes and makes them feel more self-sufficient. The physical and mental activity provides many therapeutic benefits as well. Donations are used exclusively to assist and support veterans and their families. The poppy also reminds the community of the past sacrifices and continuing needs of our veterans. Auxiliary members endeavor to explain the true meaning of this little flower to all those who receive it. The poppy has become a nationally known and recognized symbol of sacrifice and is worn and used by Auxiliary members to honor the men and women who served and died for their country in all wars
Veteran's Affairs and Rehabilitation
The Auxiliary's Veteran's Affairs and Rehabilitation program provides service and financial assistance to veterans and their families. Auxiliary members are interested in restoring the veteran and his family to normal function - physically, mentally, socially and vocationally. Members provide emotional support and cheerful companionship while attending to the hospitalized, handicapped and homebound veterans' physical comforts. In a single year, veterans' programs utilized the services of more than 100,000 hospital field and home service volunteers who donated millions of dollars and millions of hours to assist veterans. The Auxiliary's gift shops and holiday parties have become an essential part of the VA program. The Poppy program provides therapy and a means of earning money for handicapped and hospitalized veterans and their families. Members work with legislators and congressmen to pass legislation to increase government benefits and assistance for veterans. Essential equipment and supplies are purchased by caring members to upgrade and facilitate the level of care provided in veterans' facilities. Members furnish job assistance, transportation, food, clothing and medicine to thousands of needy, handicapped and homeless veterans. The Auxiliary plays a necessary and important role in the life of America's veterans.