ALA members show mission resilience in uncertain times

Spring is normally a time of universal positivity with its fresh, warm air bringing flowers and a renewed sense of purpose. But this year, it’s different.

The COVID-19 pandemic became a crisis that fell upon the world in the early part of 2020. It hit us hard and showed us that being joyful, thankful, or selfless during extreme times might be unmerited.

But in the American Legion Auxiliary, members are quickly squashing that kind of thinking.

The social distancing mandates from the Centers for Disease Control and local and federal governments aren’t making us lazy or selfish. We’re isolating ourselves as directed, but we always keep a keen eye on our mission of serving veterans, military, and their families:

Wellness checks are frequent. Members are calling veterans homes to make sure the senior residents are doing OK. They’re also checking on each other – especially looking after elderly ALA members – making grocery runs and other necessary to-dos for those who aren’t able to pick up and leave so easily.

The crafty are sharpening their scissors and skills. To assist those on the intense frontlines, members are making face masks for healthcare workers. And, to get a jump ahead, members are keeping busy by making winter hats, scarves, and blankets for hospitalized veterans for next year. Junior members across the nation are working on homemade cards containing notes of “happy” for veterans.

Don’t forget the food. In Delaware, one unit is making lots of bagged lunches for veterans and seniors in their area. A local restaurant allows them to use their front patio for drive-by pickups.

Extra time is devoted to learning. Members are taking advantage of the moments in isolation by browsing and enrolling in the many enriching ALA Academy courses.

Laptops are winning over desktops. Working from home is becoming the norm. Department and national headquarters locations are adapting to mandated changes by accomplishing task lists remotely. ALA member customer service now contains a little “home sweet home” in every occurrence. Even the May issue of Auxiliary magazine, which is currently in print production, was produced by staff working from basements, kitchen tables, and other makeshift home offices.

Elizabeth Chiavarini, senior database coordinator, works from home during the COVID-19 mandated closures.

In trying times when everything seems to have a big question mark over its head, one thing is for certain: ALA members stay the course in our community of volunteers of serving veterans, military, and their families.

Tell us how you or your American Legion Auxiliary unit is serving the ALA’s mission during the worldwide pandemic and social distancing. Contact us.


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