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Monthly News Letter March 2019


Recruiter of the Year!

We are so excited to be able to pat YOU on the back.  We WANT YOU to attend Department Convention in Colorado Springs June 20-23, 2019.  Come and Celebrate the American Legion's 100th Birthday.

The American Legion Auxiliary will pay for ONE night stay and two meals for Department Convention on for our Recruiter of the YEAR!!!  So many GREAT things happen on Saturday and you won't want to miss it.
 
Recruit new members for the 2019 year.  Your unit will need to submit your list by May 31 to the department membership chair Evelyn Espinola!!

 
Click here to see the flier.


Message from President
Laurie Kuntz
Northwest Division Children & Youth Chair

Statistics state that more than 2 million children have been affected by wartime deployments.  It is a part of their routine, that children of civilian parents may never endure.  Since deployment to Vietnam to today there has been more than a 27% increase in deployed families with children.  (Morin, 2018)

As the American Legion Auxiliary, we can make a positive impact on those children.  Our Kids of Deployed R Heroes 2 (KDH2) program allows us to celebrate children of the deployed. 
How can you celebrate and honor the service of the children?  You can create or purchase “I’m a Hero 2” buttons and distribute them to those children whose parents are deployed.  You can also make buttons that say “I am a Proud Parent or Grandparent of a Military Child” with a picture of the military member.  If buttons are too costly think about a sticker.  Since you are not putting the ALA logo on them, you can make anywhere from anyone you want. A template for the stickers can be downloaded from the Children & Youth page when you log in to the Members Only section at www.ALAforVeterans.org.

Another idea is to make them a certificate that they will be able to display and remind them they are not forgotten.  What a fun way to say “thank you for your service” to the family.
Why should you do this?  Acknowledging the sacrifice that the family makes lets them know that they are not alone.  Supporting the children and youth is part of our mission.
How should you distribute?  You can work with the family readiness group to coordinate a date and time to distribute.  What about having a special dinner to acknowledge and appreciate the kids and family?  You can add activities and events to make it a special day for the kids.  Build a relationship with them.  Another suggestion is “if your unit is in close vicinity to a military installation, contact Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) for a listing of activities in which you might have a concession or table.”  At the event you can showcase the Military Child’s Table as a ceremony of compassion and understanding.

Have a conversation with the kids.  Without prying: ask them how they are doing?  How is school?  What do they need?  How can you help?  See if they want to talk about the deployed parent?  Showing they have someone to listen to them and on their side can go a long way.

Team up with other organizations that are concerned with the welfare of deployed children.  This could be a way to make a day even more exciting and fun for them. 

April is designated as the Month of the Military Child.  Plan an event to honor military children.  You can incorporate KDH2 program as well.  Purple is designated as the color for the military child, as it dumps of the colors of the military branches together to make purple.  April 18 is Purple Up! Day to support military children.  Encourage your members to wear purple in support of the
Kids of the Deployed.

Remember the Children
Morin, Amy. (2018). Effects of Military Deployment on Children. Retrieved from
https://www.verywellfamily.com/the-effects-of-military-deployment-on-children-4150518.
** Additional information was pulled from the 2017-2022 Children & Youth Program Action Plan located on www.alaforveterans.org.
 
Save the date!  President Laurie's Homecoming April 27, 2019 Longmont Post 32.  Click here for the flier and watch the What's New page on alacolorado.com for more information.

Service to Veterans - VA&R
Theresa Brandt, Chairman 2018-19

 
The American Legion Auxiliary VA&R program is one of the most important programs of the American Legion Auxiliary.  The VA medical facilities offer the health care our veterans need, the Fisher Houses give the families a place to stay while the veteran is seeking health care, and the community living centers are their final home and strive to make the homes as homey as they can. As volunteers, we bring friendship to newfound friends who have a desperate need for someone to take a personal interest in his/her well-being. Establish a routine for visitations because elderly people adhere to a routine and look forward to visits.
 
The following suggestions were adopted from a publication of the National Citizen’s Coalition for Nursing Home Reform. These suggestions focus on what you can do to be a good visitor.
 
  1. All visitors should respect the privacy and dignity of residents’ room. This includes knocking before entering, not adding or removing things from a room without the resident’s permission, and not rearranging the room to suit your taste.
  2. Address residents as the adults they are. If you are a new visitor, introduce yourself properly and ask if you can stay for a visit. Make it clear why you are there.
  3. Establish trust and physical and verbal warmth in all your communications with residents. Be attentive and let them know that you are truly interested in them.
  4. Be honest about your own reactions and feelings. Share honestly with them if you want them to be honest with you.
  5. Don’t do things or ask questions behind their backs that would violate their trust in you. Respect confidentiality.
  6. Ask about their activities in the hone and contacts outside the home (family, friends, etc.).
  7. Give them a chance to talk about their history without prying. Discuss interests you have in common.
  8. Provide opportunities for them to share how they really feel about living in a nursing home and their problems and experiences in the home. Don’t try to convince them that their feelings are wrong or minor—be a sympathetic listener.
  9. Do not make promises you cannot keep. This includes promises to visit or take them on outings.
  10. Always remember that you are visiting for the benefit of the resident, not for your own sake. If the resident does not feel like talking, ask if it would be better for you to leave and return on another day.
 Hopefully this is helpful and enjoy being a volunteer for our veterans.


Americanism Committee
Sue Wagner, Chairman 2018-19

The Deadline for the Americanism Essay program is due to Department by April 5th and National by April 15th.  Each year the contest is for grade levels 3rd – 12th including students with special needs.  Winners receive $50 and a donation in the student’s name will be made to Children of Warrior’s Nation

The theme this year is “How can we address and prevent veteran homelessness in our communities”.

It is estimated that there are over 40,000 veterans experiencing homelessness in the United States. Also, Colorado ranks as the seventh highest state for homeless veterans.  We would love to hear from students describing what they would do to resolve this very unfortunate situation.

Please, this is my sincere request asking for your help to recruit students to enter the Americanism Essay Contest.  Benefits to us are really endless.  We teach our young to respect the very foundation of our country, we provide a possible reward they can be proud of, and all of us will learn from their ideas.   We need to always remember the men and women who were willing to pay the ultimate sacrifice so we can enjoy the many liberties we often take for granted just because were Americans.  Let’s do our part in taking care of all who served!

It’s one thing to fly our flags proudly, or raise money to help veterans but, it’s quite a different thing to teach our children about patriotism (it’s a lifelong lesson). It’s import our youth understand why they should consistently show respect for others and just be good citizens.    

The 2019 Americanism Essay Contest cover sheet is available on Americanism Committee page..

Effective Communication Committee
Members: Susie Bozella- Chairman, Diane Erickson, Terri Clinton, Deb McBride, and Pat Steranka
This Ad Hoc Committee was appointed at the November 4, 2018 DEB meeting by President Laurie Kuntz. Members: Susie Bozella- Chairman, Diane Erickson, Terri Clinton, Deb McBride, and Pat Steranka.
 
The purpose is to facilitate effective communication between ALA members within the Department of Colorado.
 
One of our objectives is to provide suggestions on how to maximize various modes of communication.  Since many of us receive and send numerous emails, we thought we would start with email.
 
Top 10 Strategies for Writing Effective Emails: written by Jessica Bauer in 2000
 
  1. Write a meaningful subject line.
  2. Keep the message focused.
  3. Avoid attachments.
  4. Identify yourself clearly.
  5. Be kind. Don't flame.
  6. Proofread.
  7. Don't assume privacy.
  8. Distinguish between formal and informal situations.
  9. Respond promptly.
  10. Use respect and restraint.
 
One other important tip:
If you get an unwanted email or wish to not receive any more emails from a certain person reply with these words only:
“Take My Name Off Of Your Email List.”
 
Added by the ECC Committee:
If you get unwanted email from an organization, scroll to the bottom of the email and look for the “Unsubscribe” and click on it. It may automatically unsubscribe you, may ask you why you want to unsubscribe or may give you an option to subscribe/unsubscribe from other publications the organization sends out.  Whatever options appear, once you have answered them, you should get a message that you have been “unsubscribed”.
 
SOCIAL MEDIA
Another objective of the committee was to provide members with information on the use of social media.  To that end, below are two links to information on how to safely use Facebook, specifically how to protect your privacy on Facebook.  We think you would agree that our privacy is very important and we should be able to choose who sees what we post to social media, so we hope you find this information valuable. 

 
How to Protect Yourself on Facebook

The Step-By-Step Guide On How To Protect Your Privacy On Facebook – The Bert Show

Denver VA Representative
Diane Erickson, PDP
Colorado VA Creative Arts Festival

Art on display now at the Denver VA in the main concourse. Performances to be held on May 9, 2019 
from 1pm to 3pm 
at the Lakewood Cultural Center, 470 S. Allison Pkwy Lakewood, CO 80226

Funding needed for this local Creative Arts Festival! Please contribute as much as you or your unit can.

Send Checks to the Colorado Department office.

Committee Highlights
History Committee
At the time of our 75th anniversary a silver covered book was printed with biographies of all the Past Department Presidents.  We are coming up on our 100th anniversary next year and I am redo the book.  I have mentioned to National what we have done in the past and are doing for the future. 

I am looking for an extra copy or two of the silver book so that I can send it on to National and the National History chairman.  So if you one please let me know.  If you are in the Denver area I can come by or meet you someplace to pick it or if can mail it to me and I can reimburse you.
Thank you for looking and look forward to the new book.
 
Roberta (Robbie) Morrow
Department History Chairman



VA Facility Needs
Please visit the Service to Veterans page on  alacolorado.com for the most current lists of items needed by our VA facilities.


NEC
Reports from the recent NEC meeting in Indianapolis are now available on the NEC Updates page of alacolorado.com


PR Committee - Social Media
Are you a chairman and not sure what you need for your web page.  The Chairman's Web form will help.  Click here to download the form or you can find it on the Committees and Chairmen page.  Also available on the Committees and Chairmen is a How To Guide for chairmen - all the basics to use your web page and submit articles for the newsletter.

Email Preferences
Thanks to everyone who has updated their email preferences.  We had over 100 members read our August newsletter and our hope is to increase that each month.  Please share with your unit members how they can either sign up for our newsletter or read it online.

You now have several ways to add and/or update your email preferences:
  • At the bottom of this email you can click on "update your preferences" which will open a form with whatever we currently have on file for you.  Update and save.
  • At the bottom of this email click "unsubscribe" and that will remove you from our email list.
  • Visit our What's New web page where we have added a link to this email list.  You can also find the link on our Publications page.
  • Visit Facebook.  In the left hand side of the page are a list of tabs.  At the bottom is "Email Preference Form"
Don't want anymore email, go to our Publications page where you can read the current and any past newsletter.

We want to put you in control of what you receive from us!


Tech Corner
Have a question about your computer, a piece of software, your Facebook page or how to build your own web page for your unit or district.  Trying to figure out how to fill in that online form or you just need some help building a document.  Now you have a place to ask that question - check out our Technology page.
Convention

A section with Convention information has been added to the What's New page of alacolorado.com.  As updates are available about convention - hotel, agenda, events - they will be posted in that section.  Currently convention hotel information is available on the What's New page.

Looking for an opportunity to serve our veterans and get paid?  Our Secretary/Treasurer's position will be open in 2019 so we are starting now to find the right person - maybe that is you!  Interested?  Click here for the job description.  Click here for the application. 

Please send applications and resumes to Department Headquarters.
To send via US Mail:
American Legion Auxiliary
Department of Colorado
7465 East 1st Avenue Suite D
Denver, CO  80230


For email, please send to
 dept-sec@alacolorado.com​.
This newsletter is also available on Twitter and our Facebook page.
Copyright © 2019 American Legion Auxiliary, Department of Colorado, All rights reserved.


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