2016-2017 National Youth Activities Ambassador
The program year is almost over and school will soon be letting out for the summer. There are many events in May for youth to honor and assist our veterans and their families, as well opportunities for youth to be honored.
- May is graduation time. Consider hosting a reception for youth who have volunteered with the Auxiliary and/or Post this year. Recognize their academic, athletic and patriotic achievements.
- Loyalty Day is May 1. It’s also May Day (Lei Day in Hawaii). Have youth assemble and deliver May baskets to hospitalized veterans, those in nursing homes, and leave on the doorsteps of veterans and seniors in your community. May baskets are traditionally filled with flowers and treats. A small American Flag, a “Buddy”® Poppy or other patriotic symbol could be added to the basket to celebrate both Loyalty Day and May Day.
- Military Spouse Appreciation Day is May 12. Celebrated the Friday before Mother’s Day, Military Spouse Appreciation Day was first recognized in 1984 to acknowledge the contributions, support and sacrifices of the spouses of America’s Armed Forces. Have youth assist spouses of deployed service members in your area by mowing lawns, doing yard work, babysitting, running errands, etc. – all free of charge!
- Mother’s Day is May 14. Assist a youth group in hosting a Mother’s Day brunch at your Post or Community Center. Purchase some carnations to give to the moms, or have your youth group make simple corsages.
- Armed Forces Day is May 20. Armed Forces day is a day to honor Americans currently serving in the five branches of the U.S. military as well as the National Guard and Reserve units. Armed Forces Day is often celebrated with air shows, parades, open houses and receptions. Ask youth to get involved by attending an Armed Forces Day event in your area, sending care packages to deployed troops or hosting a meal or event for active-duty service members and/or their families.
- Memorial Day is May 29. Memorial Day activities are excellent opportunities to involve youth. Ask youth of all ages to help place flags at cemeteries. Ask high school students to form an honor guard and participate in ceremonies and/or parades. Oh, yes, parades! Memorial Day kicks off the summer’s patriotic parade season. Youth groups can help decorate floats, hand out flags, programs and “Buddy”® Poppies to attendees. When handing out flags, be sure to attach a copy of “Flag Etiquette at Parades” available under “Americanism” on the Program & Publicity Resources page of the National website.
I am so proud of all our members for the fine work you have been doing with the youth of our country. These future leaders are gaining valuable experience from you sharing your knowledge and skills with them. Thank you for making a positive impact in the lives of youth.