Community Service

Community Service embraces all activities for improvement of conditions of life in the community where the American Legion Auxiliary unit is located.  It has been a major activity of The American Legion and Auxiliary since 1926, and has resulted in the completion of a vast number of projects to make American communities better places in which to live.  Every Auxiliary Unit is expected to carry out or cooperate in at least one project for community betterment each year.

Each unit should have a Community Service Chairman in charge of Community Service projects.  It is the duty of this chairman to study community needs, recommend projects to the Unit, then lead in the accomplishment of projects adopted, and report the work to the Department Community Service Committee. Support of Community Service projects of The American Legion Post is, of course, a first responsibility of the American Legion Auxiliary Unit.  In almost every American Legion project there will be phases in which the Auxiliary can give effective help. Cooperation should also be given to other organizations working on practical, worthwhile projects for community improvement, and their cooperation in projects initiated by the Auxiliary can be asked.  The greatest achievement is made when in the interest and efforts of the entire community are enlisted in support of a project. Duplication of the efforts of other organizations must be avoided.  Before selecting a project, the unit should make sure that no other local organization is at work in that field. Cooperate with other groups – do no compete with them.  “Initiate, cooperate, but do not duplicate” has long been the watchword of the American Legion Auxiliary in Community Service. The selection of a Community Service project should be given very careful thought.  A Unit will be fulfilling its obligation if it undertakes and completes one Community Service project each year.  Initiate, if necessary, cooperate with the American Legion and other organizations where possible; but never duplicate the work of other organizations. Go easy at first.  Try small projects, carrying them to completion.  Experience will teach the Unit the type of projects which the community will support and which are within the ability of the Unit to accomplish.  Plan your projects – work your plan – publicize your results.

Suggested Projects

During the many years of Community Service work by thousands of American Legion Auxiliary Units, scores of different type projects have been carried out successfully.  A general listing of these projects follows:

  • Health: Cooperation with national health organizations in their local fund-raising and educational activities.  Sponsoring of clinics.  Aid to community nurses.  Purchase of needed equipment for local hospitals.  Purchase of equipment needed by those suffering from disease or disability to loan to local families.
  • Recreation: Sponsoring or cooperating in the establishment and maintenance of playgrounds, swimming pools, and youth centers.  Organization and direction of wholesome recreational activities for young people.
  • Safety: Sponsoring or cooperating in traffic safety, home safety, and fire prevention programs.  Purchase of respirators or other life-saving equipment for Sheriff, Police, or Fire Departments. Aid school safety patrol.
  • Beautification: Conduct or take part in clean-up campaigns.  Encourage the planting of flowers, shrubs, lawns, and trees.  Campaign for improvement of parks and others public grounds, aiding in the work if necessary.  Plants memorial trees.
  • Libraries: Aid the public library by working for adequate appropriations, if necessary.  Establish and maintain memorial bookshelf.  Present copies of American legion Auxiliary History.  Collect and donate books, if needed.  Help maintain traveling libraries.  If  community is without library service, start a community library.
  • Community Councils: Initiate or cooperate in establishing community council which can bring all local organizations together to work for the betterment of the community.

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