Dear American Legion Family and Friends,
When I was growing up, I lived in Elkader, Iowa, along the Turkey River. It was a wonderful place to be raised. To this day, I still have fond memories of our home, schools and community.
As adults, we traveled back to Elkader for a weekend visit with my parents and other family members during the summer of 1991. What started out as a simple storm turned into torrential rains which caused the Turkey River to flood its banks.
With lessons learned from an earlier flood, we hurriedly moved things out of the basement and wrapped the furnace and other appliances in plastic to save them. Then came the evacuations.
Upon returning to survey the damage, we saw that the floods got up to about three feet on the first floor of the house, rendering our work in the basement useless. We tore out carpet and floorboards, cut into the wall boards, threw away a lot of damaged items, and started bleaching anything we could to save it.
Our experience with a natural disaster is not unique. One can happen anytime and anywhere. As summer begins, so does a new hurricane season. And, if this year is anything like last year, millions of Americans will find themselves in the wake of dangerous storms.
That’s why The American Legion National Emergency Fund (NEF) stands ready to help Legionnaires, Sons of The American Legion members and posts that have been affected by natural disasters like hurricanes, floods and others.
Last year, hundreds of NEF grants were distributed to help our brothers and sisters recover in the immediate aftermath of such tragedies. The grants – up to $3,000 for individuals and $10,000 for posts – are available due to the kindness of donors. To contribute to NEF grants for this season’s victims of natural disaster, please visit www.legion.org/donate.
These grants provide much-needed immediate financial aid for those in need of food, clothing, shelter or gasoline after a natural disaster. In the past, NEF donations have helped those recovering from large-scale disasters like Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy and smaller incidents of flooding, tornadoes, wildfires and more.
In our family’s case, we lost precious mementoes from the Turkey River flooding. However, we gained valuable memories as we worked together to save my parents’ home.
While Legion Family members cannot replace the memories of those affected by future natural disasters, we can support them through our generosity. Please consider a donation to NEF today.