Guest blog post by Pam Bates, National Auxiliary Emergency Fund Committee Chair
March is a month I would call a winter transition month from winter to spring and warmer temperatures. However, March can bring a variety of extreme weather, including hot temperatures, late-season blizzards, and severe weather, which includes tornadoes. This is why March carries the phrase, “comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.” As I am writing this, the movie, The Wizard of Oz, popped into my head with the pictures of Dorothy being swept away and the good witch coming to her rescue. The good witch is kind of like the Auxiliary Emergency Fund (AEF).
The AEF National Committee has been with you through the 2021-22 administrative year through many natural disasters and emergencies. Just because the year changed to 2022, we are still here to help.
Some quick facts:
· The threat of severe weather usually begins to ramp up in March.
· Tornadoes are most likely in parts of the South during the first month of meteorological spring.
· Last March began with one of the deadliest tornado days in years.
· Spring tornado season typically begins to increase in March.
· An average of 80 tornadoes occur each March, based on the last 20 years. March is the fifth most tornadic month.
The AEF has two types of grants that it provides its members: temporary assistance application and disaster grant application. The applications and criteria for both are found on the national website at www.ALAforVeterans.org. Some key points of the AEF grants are:
- The Auxiliary Emergency Fund (AEF) is a national grant assistance program that provides temporary emergency assistance to eligible members of the American Legion Auxiliary, up to $2,400, as the result of an act of nature or other personal crisis.
- Grant funds may be used only for shelter or utilities.
- Members of the American Legion Auxiliary whose dues are current and who have maintained membership for three consecutive years (the current year and immediate past two years).
If you have problems or questions with the application, first contact your unit AEF chair, then your department AEF chair or secretary, and then your division chair. These individuals can assist in walking you through the applications.