VFW Post 4174: VFW Auxiliary outreach
Since the advent of the 2020 pandemic, many organizations have had to change how they handle their outreach programs, and the Lehigh Acres VFW has been working to keep in step with the constant growing and changing.
The VFW Auxiliary Community Outreach is in its second year and the program teaches members to volunteer with other organizations in their specific community. This year, the emphasis is on helping first responders because this September is a very somber anniversary; it has been two decades since 9/11. If one remembers back, the country worked together to overcome this horror which was committed against us.
An idea for supporting first responders is Partnering a First Responders Appreciation Day, or even a Week. Another good way to help is to volunteer at a safety fair. Special dinners or a Sunday breakfast would show them their work on our behalf is greatly appreciated.
The Community Outreach is so different from many other organizations as it is asking for a donation of time in lieu of monetary donations. Its goal is to target members for volunteering with an organization and being visible in the community doing the type of work the Auxiliary has been doing for years. By doing so, awareness about the Auxiliary helps build good will.
In order to make certain one is recognized as an Auxiliary member, wearing some form of Auxiliary apparel such as a shirt, hat or even a name badge is suggested. Our Auxiliary has some very colorful shirts that would stand out in any crowd! Doing this as a group can be suggested by a vote on the Auxiliary floor to volunteer outside your Auxiliary or Post. But anything done specifically for the Outreach program cannot be counted or credited to another program.
Some of the ideas which would count for the Outreach Program are tutoring students, helping senior citizens at a senior living center by spending time with them reading or listening to their stories of their past, planting trees for Arbor Day, or even doing something to assist with animals, helping improve the environment or organizing and sorting donations at a homeless shelter.
Come to think of it, this program is a great way for the American people to come together again as a United nation. The pandemic of this past year has widened the breach between our people. We need a common goal to come together again. Working in an Outreach Program would be a good way to heal some of the breaches. The VFW is always striving to help foster the unity that was learned while our people were in their service of our country. We are proud to be part of this worthwhile endeavor!