Club and Youth Programs

Pillar IV:

Children & Youth
by Steve Niedorf

The American Legion’s Commission on Children & Youth manages a pillar of service guided by three main objectives:

to strengthen the family unit, to support quality or-ganizations that provide services for children and youth, and to provide communities with well-rounded programs that meet the physical, educational, emotional and spiritual needs of young people. The commission works to provide hope for children who face health, safety, discipline or home-life challenges, and provides opportunities for young people to succeed. The American Legion Child Welfare Foundation provides more than $500,000 in grants each year to nonprofit organizations that work to improve the lives of young people. These grants have aided organ-donor campaigns, supported efforts to help military children cope with deployment or the loss of a parent, and funded projects that increased public awareness of Huntington’s disease, autism, Reye’s syndrome, meningitis, spina bifida, diabetes, cancer and other conditions.The Commission on Children & Youth has focused recent attention on several important national programs, including the Children’s Miracle Network, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Special Olympics, youth-suicide prevention, Halloween safety, the Family Support Network, Temporary Financial Assistance Operation:Military Kids, and others. The American Legion has been a staunch supporter of the children and youth of our nation since its founding in 1919. The commitment continues today for the National Commissionon Children & Youth as it seeks to improve the well-being of all children. Every generation of veterans knows that the key to the future of a free and prosperous country is held by the children and youth of today. The Legion strongly supports traditional family values, assistance for at-risk children, and activities that promote their healthy and wholesomedevelopment. While there is no way of knowing what issues will face our youth tomor-row, our survival may well depend on the quality of care, education and training that we, as parents and citizens, provide for young people today.