Look at this time as an opportunity, not a setback

Guest blog by ALA National President Nicole Clapp

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As the American Legion Auxiliary’s current administrative year continues to be largely interrupted at no fault of our own, we want to applaud and celebrate all of the great mission work our members are performing with an undivided mindset of Service Not Self at our next National Convention in Phoenix, Ariz., in 2021.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, The American Legion Family has made difficult decisions about upcoming events. One of the most difficult was canceling the 2020 National Convention. We are making our first priority the health and well-being of our members.

I ask that you look at our 2021 National Convention as a celebration in many ways. We will still celebrate our centennial, but we will also celebrate the opportunity to be together again. Next year, we’ll remember making it through the challenges of social distancing. We’ll also fondly recall the ALA members who are essential workers and how they made it through what was most likely the toughest time in their careers.

We started our 2019-2020 year strong. We had many great celebrations, unveiled an expanded shadowbox to highlight our 100 years of service, and don’t forget all the cake we enjoyed. Then the world seemed to come to a halt in March. With that, many events and activities were put on hold, with no one knowing when they would be allowed to happen. Like many of you, I was disappointed. I was discouraged that I would no longer be able to visit ALA departments and meet members in person to celebrate our century of service.

Now, I’m looking at the positive side of things. Because we are extending this current administrative year through our 2021 National Convention, I will still get to meet our members in person and celebrate with them. I’ve enjoyed talking to many of you on the phone during our Week of Caring and Sharing and doing Buddy Checks. I’ve gotten to know you in a more personal way – one that I otherwise may never have had the opportunity to experience.

I’m proud to see the many social media posts featuring ALA units making masks, delivering food, and serving their communities in so many ways. Thank you to all of the health care workers, grocery store employees, delivery drivers, mail carriers, and all essential workers who have been there for us.

One day, this will all be a part of history. It will be behind us, and the American Legion Auxiliary will still be here because our members are resilient. I encourage each of you to look for the positives in your lives.

I know some of you may be disappointed in the changes made regarding reporting and award deadlines. I can assure you that we did not make those decisions lightly. We worked on this plan until we found a solution we thought made the most sense. We know some of you had reports ready and were planning to send entries for awards. Look at it this way: Many of you have worked ahead. You can save those reports and add the great work you will continue to do throughout the 2020-2021 year.

There will be no annual reports for the 2019-2020 administrative year. The 2021 reports will cover both the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 years. Mid-year reports will still be due January 5, 2021. Many ALA awards will include both the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 years. Please see below for details for each committee.

However, this does not mean you will not report any of your work. Impact numbers are still needed for the 2019-2020 year. So, please submit your impact numbers as you usually do.

Keep up the great work you are all doing, and thank you for the excellent service you’re selflessly providing for veterans, the military, and their families.

AMERICAN LEGION AUXILIARY NATIONAL AWARDS, SCHOLARSHIPS, AND REPORTS DEADLINES:

Auxiliary Emergency Fund

  • Mid-year reports are due January 5, 2021.
  • Two-year reports due May 15, 2021.
  • Awards – Continue awarding this year; ongoing (entry deadline: TBA).

Community Service

  • Mid-year reports are due January 5, 2021.
  • Two-year reports due May 15, 2021.
  • Awards – Awarded in 2021 (entry deadline: TBA).

Junior Activities

  • Mid-year reports are due January 5, 2021.
  • Two-year reports due May 15, 2021.
  • Awards – Awarded in 2021 (entry deadline: TBA).
  • Junior Member of the Year
    • Awarded in 2021; applicants must have been Juniors at the start of the 2019-2020 administrative year.
    • Recipient can receive award even if they are technically a senior member during 2021 National Convention, as long as they were Juniors at the start of the 2019-2020 administrative year.
  • Honorary Divisional Vice Presidents
    • Elections for 2020-2021 to proceed electronically in summer of 2020.
    • Will be installed at 2020-2021 national Junior meetings.

Education

  • Mid-year reports are due January 5, 2021.
  • Two-year reports due May 15, 2021.
  • Awards – Awarded in 2021 (entry deadline: TBA).
  • Scholarships
    • Department deadline – May 1, 2020.
    • Division deadline – May 15, 2020.
    • National deadline – May 18, 2020.
    • Letters to winners and announcement on national website – end of May 2020.
  • Give 10 – Continue awarding this year; ongoing (entry deadline: TBA).

Children & Youth

  • Mid-year reports are due January 5, 2021.
  • Two-year reports due May 15, 2021.
  • Awards – Awarded in 2021 (entry deadline: TBA).
  • Youth Hero Award – Continue awarding this year; ongoing.
  • Good Deed Award – Continue awarding this year; ongoing.

Liaison to Child Welfare Foundation

  • Awards are determined by The American Legion. Presented at our 2021 National Convention.

Leadership

  • Mid-year reports are due January 5, 2021.
  • Two-year reports due May 15, 2021.
  • Awards – Awarded in 2021 (entry deadline: TBA).

Americanism

  • Mid-year reports are due January 5, 2021.
  • Two-year reports due May 15, 2021.
  • Awards – Awarded in 2021 (entry deadline: TBA).
  • Americanism Essay Contest – Awarded this year; same topic for 2021.

Poppy

  • Mid-year reports are due January 5, 2021.
  • Two-year reports due May 15, 2021.
  • Awards – Awarded in 2021 (entry deadline: TBA).
  • Poppy Poster Contest – Awarded this year; deadline: June 1, 2020.
  • Little Miss Poppy – Awarded 2019-2020 and another awarded for 2020-2021; deadline: July 1.
    • Both invited to ALA National Convention 2021.

Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation

  • Mid-year reports are due January 5, 2021.
  • Two-year reports due May 15, 2021.
  • Awards – Awarded in 2021 (entry deadline: TBA).
  • National Veterans Creative Arts Festival recognition – donors for 2019-2020 and for 2020-2021. All individuals, units, departments, and outside organizations (e.g. Legion posts) that donate at least $1,000 from Aug 1 to July 31 of the following year are recognized.
    • Awarded each year at our National Convention.
  • VAVS Volunteer of the Year (awarded by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, not the ALA). Deadline has already passed for 2019-2020. Winner will be announced TBD and deadline for 2020 is Nov. 1, 2020. Winner will be announced in 2021.
  • VAVS Hour Bars – Continue awarding this year; ongoing.
  • Individual Recognition Award: Recruitment and Service (awarded by the VA, not the ALA) – Deadline: March 31, 2020. Deadline for 2021 is March 31, 2021.
  • Individual Recognition Award: 100% VAVS Meeting Attendance (awarded by the VA, not the ALA) – Deadline March 31, 2020. Deadline for 2021 is March 31, 2021.
  • Department Recognition: Michael Guty (awarded by The American Legion, not the ALA).
  • Parke Scholarship – Awarded this year and awarded in 2021.

Legislative

  • Mid-year reports are due January 5, 2021.
  • Two-year reports due May 15, 2021.
  • Awards – Awarded in 2021 (entry deadline: TBA).

National Security

  • Mid-year reports are due January 5, 2021.
  • Two-year reports due May 15, 2021.
  • Awards – Awarded in 2021 (entry deadline: TBA).

Membership

  • Mid-year reports are due January 5, 2021.
  • Two-year reports due May 15, 2021.
  • Incentive awards – Awarded this year and in 2020-2021 (Deadlines for 2021 – TBA).
  • Recruit/Rejoin 5: 1st deadline for award changed to Dec. 14, 2020. 2nd deadline for reward remains the same.
  • Recruit 10: Change to Recruit 10 SENIOR members only (recruited Junior members cannot be included for award). Reward will be a gift selected by the national Membership Committee chairman and is no longer a $100 reward.
  • Discontinuing drawing for $1,000 to put toward traveling to National Convention and 2 States Dinner tickets.
  • Caring and Sharing Award: The reward is no longer a $25 check. It has been changed to a $25 gift card to American Legion Flag & Emblem Sales.
  • All other deadlines for awards remain the same except changed to reflect the 2021 year instead of 2020.

Past Presidents Parley

  • Mid-year reports are due January 5, 2021.
  • Two-year reports due May 15, 2021.
  • Awards – Awarded at 2021 National Convention (entry deadline: TBA).

Public Relations

  • Mid-year reports are due January 5, 2021.
  • Two-year reports due May 15, 2021.
  • Awards – Awarded in 2021 (entry deadline: TBA).

History

  • Mid-year reports are due January 5, 2021.
  • Two-year reports due May 15, 2021.

Constitution & Bylaws

  • Mid-year reports are due January 5, 2021.
  • Two-year reports due May 15, 2021.

ALA Girls State/ALA Girls Nation

  • Mid-year reports are due January 5, 2021.
  • Two-year reports due May 15, 2021.

100th Anniversary

  • Continue to celebrate through 2021 ALA National Convention.

National President’s Award for Excellence

  • Two-year report due June 1, 2021.
  • Awarded at 2021 ALA National Convention – same topic.

Year-End Impact Report Forms

  • Due June 1, 2020 and June 1, 2021.

One comment

  1. You have all come together and made the best decisions for all of the ALA members. Social media has been a great way for us to keep out spirits up. Our Mission continues on, I’m looking forward to what’s next. ALA Family Stay Healthy and Safe!

    Like

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