Children & 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.


  1. To assure care and protection for children of veterans eligible for membership in The American Legion.
  2. To improve conditions for all children.


  1. To preserve the integrity of the family home.
  2. To maintain a "whole" child program, with due regard for all needs of children - physical, spiritual, emotional, and educational.
  3. To cooperate with and strengthen other sound organizations and agencies for children, avoiding duplication of existing programs.


The two primary goals of the Children and Youth program for Auxiliary Units within the community are: (1) Care and protection of children of veterans; (2) Improved conditions for all children. To accomplish these goals, Auxiliary Units strive to make sure that the pledge of care and protection for children of veterans is carried out through service work, through direct cash assistance to needy families from Unit funds, and through the use of Department or National funds for temporary aid to children of veterans. Auxiliary Units cooperate with other responsible organizations and agencies of the community whose work is in the interest of children.

Direct Aid and Service to Children of Veterans:

Much of the Children and Youth work of the Auxiliary is concerned with helping or getting help for individual families of veterans who are in need. It has never been the intention of the Children and Youth Program that an Auxiliary Unit should take over full and continuing responsibility for the financial support of dependent families.

Special Assignments:

The American Legion Auxiliary frequently undertakes special assignments in the field of Children and Youth in cooperation with The American Legion.

Method of Operation:

  1. Direct cash, assistance and service, primarily to individual children or families of veterans.
  2. Education of the membership and the general public on the needs of children and recommended ways of meeting those needs.
  3. Support of needed federal legislation for children in accordance with resolutions adopted by the National Convention or National Executive Committee of The American Legion; of state legislation in accordance with resolutions adopted by the Department Convention or Department Executive Committee; of local ordinances in accordance with resolutions adopted by the local American Legion Posts or Auxiliary Units.

The American Legion Child Welfare Foundation:

In 1954 The American Legion's National Executive Committee authorized the creation of an American Legion Child Welfare Foundation with broad powers to use such funds as it might receive to benefit the children and youth of America. The Foundation was incorporated under the laws of the State of Indiana.

It is the hope of the founders of this Foundation that, through it, funds may become available to finance research, special projects, demonstrations, and public education regarding children over and above the existing program. Through such activities, it is hoped that solutions may be found to some of the problems of child welfare. In this way, The American Legion and Auxiliary will have an opportunity to channel a portion of its energies and resources toward the prevention childhood difficulties.

The primary source of funds to the Foundation has been from individual members of The American Legion and American Legion Auxiliary and from investments. In 1956 the Board of Directors of the Foundation, with the approval of the National Convention, established a Memorial Fund within the Foundation. Through the Memorial Fund, a Unit or individual may, through a contribution to the Foundation, memorialize a deceased member. Such memorial contributions are acknowledged by a fitting memorial card sent to the family of the deceased.