Organization: American Legion Auxiliary Volunteer
Service: Since 1987
What is the American Legion Auxiliary?
The American Legion Auxiliary is the largest women’s patriotic service organization with a mission to serve veterans, the military and their families. The Auxiliary is made up of women who are relatives to veterans, along with a few female veterans who are also members of our local American Legion Post. We frequently partner with American Legion Post #54 in Marshfield, Wis., to serve veterans in our community.
How did you get involved with this organization?
My brother, who was a Vietnam War veteran, signed my mother and myself up for the auxiliary when my parents moved to Marshfield. A few years later I became secretary and went on to hold other positions within the club such as Third Vice President, Second Vice President and President. Now, I am the Past President after serving multiple terms and mainly help the organization with fundraising. We host a lot of events or participate in activities like brat frys that allow us to support the community and our veterans.
What is the most rewarding part of volunteering for American Legion Auxiliary?
The most rewarding part is knowing that I’m helping someone else and making their life a little easier. For example, we’ve partnered with a veterans home in King, Wis. to send care packages to their residents and host an annual day trip to our Auxiliary in Marshfield for lunch and bingo. We also host a bingo party for a nursing home in Marshfield once a month. The residents love it because it’s something different and fun to do. They’re always happy to see us, and it makes you feel good to put a smile on their faces. In addition, we use our fundraising dollars to support several American Legion Auxiliary department projects, veteran hospitals in Wisconsin and Camp American Legion.
How do you feel volunteering with American Legion Auxiliary has changed you as a person?
It has made me think about our veterans and everything they’ve done for us. It’s given me a better understanding of their needs and challenges by knowing what they’ve gone through and the sacrifices they have made.
What advice would you give other colleagues looking to start volunteering?
If you are looking to become more involved, don’t be afraid to ask. You can talk to the people around you or visit your local United Way. They will have many opportunities for you and will never turn down extra help. Volunteering is always an enjoyable experience—and you will get back more than you give.