"Community Service" is the term applied to the many deeds which VFW posts undertake to: improve their city, town or neighborhood; aid individual families or people; better recreational and educational opportunities for everyone; assist schools, churches, and other organizations. But the Community Service program goes far beyond this textbook definition. The time and energy that VFW and Ladies Auxiliary members donate to their communities is nothing short of an affirmation of their love and concern for the well-being of their fellow Americans and their country.
As the strength and influence of posts have grown since World War II, so too has the VFW's role in the community. This is because the majority of work for the betterment of communities goes on at the local level. As Past Commander-in-Chief Lyall Beggs declared, "No matter how many brilliant ideas the national officers concoct - no matter how hard they are willing to work - nothing happens until local units go into action."
To list even a small percentage of the Community Activity Projects accomplished by the VFW posts and their Auxiliaries would be impractical as well as impossible. Instead, here are just a few of the thousands of more recent projects that members have taken the time to report.
Obviously, community projects are as individual as the communities themselves. Many if not most VFW posts around the world have done at least one of the following:
Overall, the VFW posts and Ladies Auxiliaries annually donate a staggering amount of time and money to the betterment of their communities. In a survey conducted in 1985, Community Activities Director Ray Price and Publications and Public Relations Director Wade LaDue found the figures "beyond comprehension." Very conservative estimates put the number of hours donated by the men and women of the VFW toward its Community Activity Program at in excess of 500 million hours each year. And in an average year, the worth of the VFW's community services is valued at more than $450 million.
In making these contributions to community welfare, the VFW often works with others within the community. Civic officials, businessmen's service clubs, women's groups, educators, the press, radio and television stations, and local leaders all help to make the VFW Community Service Program possible. And in turn, the Community Service Program ensures that the veteran's fight to make his "little corner of the world" a safer and better place in which to live will continue indefinitely.
© VFW 1998 . Created by Lynn - Last Updated 29 Dec 2001