American Legion Auxiliary Unit 81 of Cleveland’s American Legion Post 81 is a unique group of women joined together in patriotism, volunteerism, and dedicated to veterans, children …
American Legion Auxiliary Unit 81 of Cleveland’s American Legion Post 81 is a unique group of women joined together in patriotism, volunteerism, and dedicated to veterans, children and youth, education and the community.
“We are a committed and active group supporting a variety of activities, but the results of our efforts are very rewarding,” said Janet Allen, president of the organization.
The American Legion Auxiliary is the world’s largest women’s patriotic service organization. With nearly one million members nationwide, it solidly stands behind America and American ideals. Originally established to assist the American Legion, the auxiliary’s interest has broadened to encompass the entire community.
Unit 81 actively supports veterans and veteran activities in the local area and beyond. This past year, members visited six different nursing homes in Bradley County in April and November, providing 140 gift packages containing personal and comfort items for veteran residents.
Also, Christmas gifts and coats were provided to children of active military veterans through Operation Home Front.
The Unit supplied a box every month with nonperishable food items, miscellaneous items and thank you cards mailed to local troops who are deployed to Cuba. They also mailed a package each month to a local active duty veteran stateside and out of the country.
The Unit also hosts the reception for veterans on Veterans Day at Post 81. For the past several years Unit members purchased 10 pounds of coffee twice a year from Books-A -Million, and it was shipped to deployed troops and to veteran nursing homes.
Unit 81 through the year supports a broad array of community service and children and youth projects. They have provided school supplies, books and box tops for elementary-age children in need. Last year the unit sponsored a Flag Etiquette Class for the fifth-grade class at Blythe Bower Elementary.
Another major youth program supported is the American Legion Auxiliary’s Volunteer Girls State. Each May, six high school juniors from local schools are sponsored to attend this nationally-recognized leadership development program for young women.
One of the highlights of the year is the annual Christmas party co-hosted at Post 81 for the residents of Life Bridges Development Services. “There is no better feeling one can experience than when you can see the joy and excitement this party brings to those present,” Allen said.
All activities and projects are funded from donations received by the unit at the semi-annual Poppy Distribution event in May and November, membership dues, and from donations and work projects. This past June, they hosted a pancake breakfast at Aubrey's Restaurant to raise funds.
If you are a mother, spouse, daughter, sister, granddaughter, great-granddaughter or grandmother of an American Legion member, or a deceased veteran of U.S. armed Forces who served in a war, you are eligible for membership.
“If interested in actively supporting veterans, children, youth and community, we invite you to consider becoming a member of the American Legion Auxiliary. You will find an energetic group of ladies, enjoy their association, and become involved in the community,” Allen added.
The organization meets on the second Monday of each month, starting at 6 p.m. at the American Legion Post 81, 227 James Asbury Drive N.W., Cleveland. For more information, you can call the Post at 476-4451.
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