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American Legion Auxiliary
Department of Illinois

Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation

Laurinda Kidd

My theme for this year is “Making a Better Life for our Veterans and Their Families One Piece at a Time.”

My theme is a bit long, but the number of veterans and their families who need a helping hand is long also. As in past years, a few key VA&R programs will sound familiar.

1.Support rehabilitation and healing of veterans through arts, crafts, and hobbies. Call your facility to see what is needed. Maybe you can start a Creative Arts Festival too.

2. Support veteran caregivers, family members, and survivors. President Patti is encouraging all of us to recognize the needs of the caregiver and to help in any way we can. There are a lot of ideas through National and on the internet.

3. Recruit Auxiliary members as VA Voluntary Service (VAVS)volunteers at VA health care facilities. We are very short on volunteers, but what a wonderful way to serve our veterans.

4. Help the American Legion, State Department of Veterans Affairs and Chamber of Commerce to promote job fairs for veterans and their families.
Women veterans comprise a growing number of homeless and jobless individuals. Get them back on their feet with your help at a job fair.

5. If a VA facility is not close to your community, find other opportunities to serve veterans in your area such as helping the homeless, the homebound, the active -duty families left behind, etc. Food banks are always in need of staffing. Remembering families with parties, a phone call, a grocery errand are some of the opportunities to help.

6. Don’t forget Fisher House and the Quilts of Valor programs. I am hoping for lots of quilts to be made and shown either at Patriotic or at our state convention. Fisher House support makes for a good unit project also.

P.S. NO MID- YEAR REPORT THIS YEAR. BUT National will expect us to share the stories and photos of your events as they happen within your Unit, District, Division, and Department. So soon as the event happens, send me a clear picture and a story behind it ASAP. You will still be expected to turn in a wonderful report by MAY 1, 2022.

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