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American Legion Auxiliary
Department of Illinois

Children and Youth

Chairman Michelle Woodburn

Congratulations on a successful Christmas Gift program for 2017!

In total, there were 10 districts par-ticipating, 2116 children served in 36 facilities. We donated $7914.17 of in-kind donations and count-less hours of volunteer service. Way to go Ladies!

Special Olympics will be here before you know it, so please start working your donation discussions into your coming meetings. They can be cash or item donations, and the list of items needed are included in this newsletter. Please be mindful of the dates, especially with cash donations, so that we have time to purchase the items needed. Also, I would ask that any food donations you provide must be store bought to ensure food allergies are monitored. Finally, we ask that if you donate carrots, please pro-vide the small bite sized ones, and pre-cut up any other foods (i.e.: broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, etc.) prior to delivery. This will save us TONS of time so we can do other things for our athletes those days. I look forward to seeing you at Joint Patriotic Conference!

Special Olympics Basketball Tournament

The Special Olympics State Basketball Tournament needs our help! Are YOU up to
the Challenge?

March 17-18, 2018, Illinois State University is hosting the event at the Horton Fieldhouse in Bloomington, Illinois. They have never had a hospitality area at the state basketball event. They know what a great job we do at the Sum-mer Games, and are asking for our help once again. What a great way to promote our American Legion Family in the Community!

We have been asked to coordinate a small hospitality table with grab-and-go pre-packaged snacks (like granola bars) and water bottles, as well as volunteers for the Awards area on Saturday and Sunday, March 17-18, 2018. Please consider donating snacks, water, and most importantly YOUR smiling face. Please contact Suzanne or Michelle if you are able to help at this event.

Thanks in advance,
Suzanne King, Community Service Chairman, 847-736-5525
Michelle Woodburn, Children and Youth Chairman, 812-305-2164

Hello! I hope this note finds you well. There are many exciting things happening in our program! Purple is the color of the military child, and we can wear it ALL YEAR LONG to support our kids! It is also National Commander Rohan’s color of the year, as it incorporates all the colors of The American Legion Family together.

The Christmas Gift program is in full swing and I have received about half of our District’s paperwork back. All receipts must be attached to Form #2 and sent to me by the appropriate date, or you will not receive reimbursement.

I would love to see TONS of Youth Hero and Youth Good Deed awards submitted this year. What’s the difference you ask? Here’s the difference:
· Good Deed Award – Youth should demonstrate leadership role in community service; specific deed should be present
· Youth Hero Award - Youth should demonstrate a physical act of valor

There are NO deadline dates for submitting these, so they can be submitted ALL year long. If you need access to the forms and you cannot find them on the website, please contact me and I will be happy to provide that for you.

In closing, I want to say a great big Thank you on behalf of Chad, Deanna, Luke, and I. Our great Illinois American Legion Family has been so very kind to us as we transition to Illinois, and we are proud to call you, part of our family. We have been blessed with the opportunity to meet many of you as we attend President Marsha’s Fall Forum’s. It is great to put faces with names, but please bear with us as we learn them all.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me in any way. THANK YOU for all you do for our organization, our families, our service members and our veterans.

The Children & Youth Program emphasizes protecting, caring for and supporting children and youth, particularly those of veterans’ and military families. Please read the full Program Action Plan on the ALA Department of Illinois website ( for ideas and ways to complete the mission of the American Legion Auxiliary through participation in the Children and Youth program. There are some new program ideas located there with innovative and creative ways to complete them. All reporting and award information is also listed on this document.

Involve your Junior Members in all programs. They can relate to kids their own age and help them in ways we cannot imagine. Ask them for Ideas-You would be amazed the ideas they come up with!

In the State of Illinois, High School Sophomores complete a United States Constitution exam as a graduation requirement. Contact local high school history/government teachers to work with these students in conjunction with your Education committee. Look into the “Star Spangled Kids” and US Constitution programs for more information and ideas. The American Legion Oratorical Contest Semi-Final will take place March 3, 2018, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Springfield, IL. Collaborate with the Education committee for more program ideas. Assist Youth in reaching their personal goals for helping others by assisting them in applying and receiving grants for youth to apply for personal projects.

Youth Hero Awards/Good Deed Awards are an ALA program to recognize youth who demonstrate a heroic act of physical valor or who exemplify community service in action. They can be sent in all year long with no deadlines. The new nomination form and media release was updated in July 2017 and are on the Department of Illinois ALA Website. Please discard any previous forms. Support Military Children and Youth with Kids of Deployed Are Heroes 2, host or volunteer at a Family Readiness Group event where KDH2 “I’m a Hero 2” buttons/stickers can be distributed, and collaborate with ALA Girls State by recognizing citizens who are the daughters of service members with “I’m a Hero 2” buttons or stickers.

Help raise awareness to benefit any and Children and Youth demographic through Child Safety, Suicide Prevention/Presentations, Food Drives, Easter Egg Hunts, Christmas/Holiday parties, Carnivals, or assisting Homeless Veteran’s children. The Christmas Gift program and Illinois Special Olympics details and forms are on the ALA Illinois website. Please discard all previous forms and make sure to follow all listed deadlines.

Resources from National

Log into the National website to access these items

Click Here: Children and Youth

  • Youth Hero / Good Deed Award
  • Military Child's Table Setting Ceremony
  • Youth Hero Award News Release Template

Department Resources