The American Legion Child Welfare Foundation was created in 1954 with two major objectives:
- To contribute to the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual welfare of children and youth through the dissemination of knowledge about new and innovative organizations and/or their programs designed to benefit youth.
- To contribute to the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual welfare of children and youth through the dissemination of knowledge already possessed by well-established organizations, to the end that such
information can be more adequately used by society.
The American Legion Child Welfare Foundation Inc. is a separate organization governed by a board of directors consisting of nine Legionnaires – three from the Legion’s National Executive Committee, three from the National Finance Committee, and three from the National Commission on Children & Youth.
Serving with the board of directors is a liaison committee consisting of nine members – three each from the American Legion Auxiliary, the Eight and Forty, and Sons of The American Legion. The board of directors considers applications for grants and approves funds for selected projects that meet one of the Foundation’s two objectives.
It is not unusual for one of these annual grants to serve as “seed money” to help develop a worthy idea or project to the point where it can justify an appeal for a larger grant from a more lucrative source.
This “seed money” is important to show the promise of a new project. In many instances, it is extremely difficult to obtain funds to start a project, but it becomes progressively less difficult to secure such funds as the project develops.
Primary sources of income for the Foundation are contributions from individual Legionnaires and members of the American Legion Auxiliary, the Eight and Forty, and Sons of The American Legion.
The Foundation also receives income from bequests, investments and other sources. The grant application window is May 1 to July 15 of each year.
Notable 2011 Child Welfare Foundation Grants
Children’s Organ Transplant Association of Bloomington, Indiana was awarded $46,500 for their project, “One Million Miracles Initiative.” This grant will update, produce and distribute COTA publicity materials, including public service announcement and targeted communications resources. The Sons of The American Legion sponsor this grant.
National Organizations for Youth Safety of Gainesville, Virginia was awarded $25,000 for their project, “Youth Empowered Community Engagement to Prevent Distracted Driving.” This grant will produce a youth engagement guide addressing youth traffic safety. The Sons of The American Legion sponsor this grant.
Our Military Kids of McLean, Virginia was awarded $50,100 for their project, “Informational Video and Brochures.” This grant will create a video and information brochures that can be used to promote the
organization to prospective grantee families and prospective donors. The American Legion Auxiliary and the Sons of The American Legion sponsor this grant.
The National Children’s Cancer Society (N.C.C.S.) of St. Louis, Missouri was awarded $25,000 for their project, “Beyond the Cure (BTC).” This grant will create a video to educate and inspire childhood cancer survivors to embrace the future to recognize their conquests and to successfully handle the challenges ahead of them.