The COVID-19 pandemic canceled American Legion Boys State programs across the country. When American Legion Post 3 in Lincoln, Neb., learned both Nebraska Boys and Girls State were not going to happen this summer, resulting in the post not sponsoring youth to either program, members of the post and Legion Riders chapter were "looking at other opportunities to serve the community,” said Riders Chapter 3 Commander Bruce Gubser.
During a post meeting, a member mentioned living nearby Pyrtle Elementary School which serves a number of lower income families. The idea came about to pay off the outstanding lunch account balances of students at the school.
The post and Legion Riders chapter contacted the school district about their idea and "they were very appreciative,” Gubser said. Together, Post 3 and the Legion Riders paid off the balance of nearly $600.
“We thought it was important to help take care of those that might need a little bit extra help. This will allow these students to start the next school year with a zero balance,” Gubser said.
“We were just trying to do our part in making sure our community members’ needs were being met, even in some small way. It was only a few hundred bucks but to those particular families I think it was probably significant.”