National Emergency Fund

2021 Derecho Impact

The Derecho of December 15, 2021 has impacted several counties in Iowa.  The American Legion’s National Emergency Fund (NEF) is there to help with natural disasters like this when our members are displaced from their homes.  NEF can provide up to $3,000 in financial aid to American Legion and SAL members who meet the criteria and up to $10,000 to with repairs to a post. 

If you have members who have been displaced from their homes and live in one of the following counties declared as a disaster, The American Legion can offer help through the NEF: Allamakee, Appanoose, Audubon, Bremer, Buena Vista, Butler, Calhoun, Carroll, Cass, Cerro Gordo, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Davis, Emmet, Fayette, Floyd, Franklin, Green, Guthrie, Hamilton, Hancock, Hardin, Harrison, Howard, Humboldt, Ida, Kossuth, Lucas, Madison, Marshall, Mills, Mitchell, Monroe, Montgomery, O’Brien, Page, Palo Alto, Pocahontas, Pottawattamie, Ringgold, Sac, Shelby, Union, Washington, Webster, Winnebago, Winneshiek, Woodbury, Worth, and Wright.

The American Legion National Emergency Fund was established in 1989 to be used to meet the needs of Posts or an individual member of the Legion family (Legion, Auxiliary or SAL) in areas stricken by natural disasters. Since disasters are not restricted to boundaries and can strike anytime or anywhere, the National Emergency Fund is ongoing so the Legion will be prepared to address future emergencies as they arise.

All requests for assistance will be submitted through Department Headquarters on The American Legion National Emergency Fund Grant Application. Copies are available upon request from Department Headquarters and are available for download by clicking on the link at the bottom of this page.

Legion Family Members helping Legion Family Members

Our Preamble to The American Legion Constitution says it best, “…devotion to mutual helpfulness.” This phrase is more than just mere words on paper; it’s our pledge of support to our distressed comrades. Since the early 1920s, The American Legion has been actively involved in meeting the needs of both the community and individual Legion family members in the wake of a disaster. Hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, wildfires…The American Legion National Emergency Fund was born out of natural disasters to compassionately heal the wounds of catastrophe and help save their homes. A major disaster could happen to any Legionnaire in any town at any time and make them homeless. The National Emergency Fund has provided over $6,000,000 in direct financial assistance to Legion family members and posts. The National Emergency Fund has kept posts from closing and enabled Legion family members to begin to rebuild their homes and their lives.

Eligibility Criteria:

1. Eligibility open to Legionnaires, Auxiliary** and Sons members (up to $3,000) Legion Posts (up to $10,000). (**If Auxiliary membership is less than 5 years continuous. Otherwise, will be forwarded to the National American Legion Auxiliary for consideration.)
2. Not meant to replace or repair items, only to meet most immediate needs (i.e., temporary housing, food, water, clothing, diapers, etc.)
3. Does not cover insurance compensation or monetary losses from a business, structures on your property (barns, tool sheds, etc.) equipment or vehicles.
4. Membership must be active at the time of disaster and the time of application

How To Apply

1. An application must be received within 90 days of the disaster.
2. Disaster must be a “declared natural disaster” by Federal, State or local government authorities.
3. Supporting data (photos, repair estimates, etc.) should be included if at all possible or statements (testimony) from post/district/department officers attesting to damages.
4. Only one grant per household.
5. Post grants must derive from a declared natural disaster and substantiating documentation must provide that The American Legion Post will cease to perform the duties and activities in the community due to losses sustained.
Members must complete a National Emergency Fund Grant Application.

Applications may be obtained by contacting your Department Headquarters at (800) 365-8387 or by calling The American Legion National Headquarters at (317) 630-1321. You can also download a grant application from the resources below.

An application is properly completed by the applicant then sent to the Department Headquarters for approval.
If everything is in order, the Department will forward to National. Upon approval at the National level, a check will be sent to the Department Headquarters for delivery to the Legion Family Member or Post in distress.

How You Can Help

We have an obligation to assist those less fortunate members when the need arises, and we do – through our donations to the National Emergency Fund.  All contributions made to this fund are deposited in a special account and are used exclusively to meet our member’s most urgent needs. Not one single contribution dollar is used for fundraising, administrative costs or fulfillment. The money in the fund comes by way of generous donations from Legionnaires, American Legion Auxiliary members and Sons of The American Legion members.

Send your tax-deductible Contributions To:

The American Legion
National Emergency Fund
P. O. BOX 6141
Indianapolis, Indiana 46206