2020-2021 National Auxiliary Community Outreach Ambassador
… it is all about Service
What Is Auxiliary Community Outreach?
It is all about SERVICE. Service work is done by an Auxiliary member or Auxiliary as a group of people that benefits others. It is often done near the area where you live, so your own community reaps the benefits of your work. You are not paid to perform community service but volunteer your time.
Community Outreach can help many different groups of people: children, senior citizens and people with disabilities, and even animals and the environment. Community service is often organized through a local group, such as a place of worship, school, or non-profit organization, but you can also start your own community service projects.
Many people participate in community service because they enjoy helping others and improving their community. Some students are required to do community service in order to graduate high school or to receive certain honors. Some adults are also ordered by a judge to complete a certain number of community service hours.
Also, remember, you must wear VFW Auxiliary attire when volunteering in the Outreach Program!
National Headquarters and I have received calls with questions regarding this NEW Program, Auxiliary Community Outreach. The confusion seems to be comparing this NEW Program to the “old” Community Service/Activities Program. Let’s remember…it is all about SERVICE. Volunteering yourself as a member or the Auxiliary as a group. Reporting the number of member participation and total number of hours. NO monetary donations!
Why Should We Participate in Community Outreach?
There are numerous benefits to participating in community service, both for the member and Auxiliary. Below are some benefits of volunteering:
- Gives you a way to help others
- Helps improve your community
- Can be a way to meet new friends
- Often results in personal growth
- Gives you a way to gain work experience and learn more about certain jobs
Community Outreach Examples
Refer to ideas below to get started with planning or participating in events, projects or programs within the community.
- Read books or letters to a person who is visually impaired
- Volunteer to help at a charity auction
- Contact a tree farm about donating Christmas trees to nursing homes, hospitals, or to families who can’t afford to buy their own
- Collect unused makeup, perfume and personal care items to donate to a domestic violence shelter
- Help deliver meals and gifts to patients at a local hospital
Helping Senior Citizens
- Read to residents at a nursing home
- Deliver groceries and meals to elderly neighbors
- Teach computer skills to the elderly
- Drive seniors to doctor appointments
- Mow an elderly neighbor’s lawn
- Make birthday cards for the elderly
- Pick up medicine for an elderly neighbor
- Help elderly neighbors clean their homes and organize their belongings
- Rake leaves, shovel snow or wash windows for a senior citizen
Helping Animals and the Environment
- Take care of cats and dogs at an animal shelter
- Plant a tree for Arbor Day
- Grow flowers in your backyard; give bouquets to hospital patients or people who are homebound
- Participate in the cleanup of a local river, pond or lake
- Foster an animal
Helping the Hungry and/or Homeless
- Donate your old clothes
- Volunteer at a soup kitchen
- Donate old eyeglasses to an organization that collects and distributes them to people in need
- Donate blankets to a homeless shelter
- Make “care kits” with shampoo, toothbrushes, combs, etc. to donate to homeless shelters
- Prepare a home-cooked meal for the residents of a nearby homeless shelter
- Collect grocery coupons to give to a local food bank
- Help repair or paint a local homeless shelter
- Help organize and sort donations at a homeless shelter
- Bake a batch of cookies or loaf of bread and deliver it to a soup kitchen
- Make first aid kits for homeless shelters
I’d like to share explanations of the Auxiliary Community Outreach Program from several Department Chairmen.
“Program Purpose: Finding ways and means to be active and visible within our local communities. To help other organizations outside of our VFW Posts and Auxiliaries that benefit our communities.” – Shawna Sines, Department of West Virginia
“This Program lets us report on our physical volunteer activities that are OUTSIDE of established VFW and VFW Auxiliary Programs. There is no money involved in these reports – only the number of members and hours worked.” – Madeline Ann Cunningham-Colston, Department of California
“Auxiliaries and Members are now able to report and be recognized for their community volunteerism. The Auxiliary can head up a project or work jointly with one or more civic groups or clubs.
Please remember that the Auxiliary Community Outreach Program is:
- For projects NOT AFFLIATED with VFW or VFW Auxiliary Programs
- Project must be approved by the Auxiliary and recorded in the meeting minutes prior to the project.
- All volunteer hours need to be counted to show the importance of the local VFW and Auxiliary to the community.” – Sandra Pederson, Department of Wyoming
Keep sending your Auxiliary Community Outreach projects to your Department Chairmen. I love seeing and hearing what you’re doing in your communities!