2018-2019 National Historian/Media Relations Ambassador
Community Outreach: Your Auxiliary CAN Make a Difference!
Wouldn’t you love the opportunity to make a difference? We’re learning how media and publicity can influence our communities and the awareness it may bring to the VFW Auxiliary. With our new Community Outreach Project, you have all the tools needed to personally educate and inform the public about the awesome work we do. As a result, you can boost our image and increase interest in our organization.
Community Outreach is the newest phase of the Building on the VFW Auxiliary Foundation; it is the educational part, where we not only educate our own members, but also the community on the WHO and WHY we are members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary.
It’s time to pull together as a TEAM – a VFW Family – and get out into the community and tell our story. It’s time to clear up misconceptions about our organizations and share our stories to our community and with other groups.
Our goal is for members and community outreach teams to speak to as many groups as possible during the month of March.
- Begin with the VFW Auxiliary Community Outreach Project resources.
- Report Forms
- Sample Contact Letter
- Organize your Community Outreach Team. Think about your members who are:
- Comfortable speaking in front of others
- Knowledgeable about the VFW and VFW Auxiliary
- Passionate about our organizations and what we do
- Plan and prepare your presentation.
Select programs you believe will make the most impact in your community such as:
- Veterans & Family Support/Veterans and Military Support
- Buddy Poppy/VFW National Home for Children
Develop your presentation:
- Be creative! Use a video, PowerPoint, display boards and/ or handouts.
- Utilize the National VFW Auxiliary Fact Sheet. Better yet, develop your own Auxiliary Fact Sheet listing your Auxiliary’s information and accomplishments.
- And…Practice, practice, practice! Get your team together and practice your entire presentation in the order it will be given.
- Make a list of groups you would like to speak to:
- Churches and faith-based groups
- Rotary, Kiwanis Club, Lions Club, Gold Star parents and other service-oriented groups
- Professional organizations and associations
- Chambers of Commerce
- Local businesses
- Local public safety departments (police, fire, EMS)
- Clubs and service groups at local schools, college and universities
- Youth groups including scouts and sports teams
Let the public know you have members available to speak and engagements can be scheduled by contacting a particular person at your Post and/or Auxiliary.
- Make contacts:
- Call each group on your list, introduce yourself, the VFW and VFW Auxiliary, and explain why you’d like the opportunity to speak at an upcoming service or meeting.
- Mail a letter. A sample is available for download at vfwauxiliary.org/resources.
- Once you secure a time, date and location, follow up with a phone call or email confirming this information. Include the speaker’s name(s) and contact information.
- At time of presentation:
- Know when and where you are scheduled to speak. Arrive 10 to 15 minutes ahead of time. Introduce yourself.
- Dress for your audience.
- Start and finish on time.
- Use visual aids such as a PowerPoint or display boards. Have handouts with your contact information.
- Look at your audience as you speak
- Leave some time for Q&A
- Send a thank you note to the organization for allowing you to speak. Extend an invitation to your Post and/or Auxiliary’s next public even or volunteer opportunity.
- Follow up with any public relations opportunities. Include your speaking events in the Post/Auxiliary newsletters.
- Send a report with any photos and/or media coverage to your Department Historian/Media Relations Chairman.
One of the best ways to let others in our community know what we do as a veterans service organization is to reach out and tell them. By sharing what we do and why we do it for our veterans, active-duty service members and their families, communities across the country will have a greater understanding of the VFW Auxiliary. This is why we’re designating this March to launch our Community Outreach Project .
Go out and make a difference!