AEF - Emergency Assistance Grants

Members helping members – that’s the American Legion Auxiliary’s mission of Service Not Self in action. Hard times can fall upon us at any moment. That’s when the American Legion Auxiliary is committed to help. The Auxiliary Emergency Fund (AEF) is a national grant assistance program that provides temporary emergency assistance to eligible members of the American Legion Auxiliary who have endured a significant financial setback as the result of an act of nature or other personal crisis.

Established in 1969, the AEF was created with a bequest from the estate of Auxiliary member Helen Colby Small of Burlington, Wisconsin.   Five decades later, the AEF is still helping fellow Auxiliary members get back on their feet. In order to carry on the Auxiliary Emergency Fund, we need your generous support.

Assistance Information

Emergency assistance grants may be awarded by the AEF Grant Committee on a case-by-case basis up to $2,400. Grant funds may be used only for shelter or utilities. AEF grants may not be used for medical expenses or debt such as that on credit cards.

To ensure the integrity of the program, the national AEF Grant Committee directs payments to a provider such as a mortgage or utility company. Educational grant payments are directed to the educational institution.


Who is Eligible?

ALA members whose dues are current and who have maintained membership for three consecutive years (the current year and immediate past two years) are eligible to apply in the wake of a financial crisis. Temporary assistance may be considered when:

A financial crisis hits, leaving a member without resources for shelter or utilities, and no other source of aid is readily available.
A natural disaster or weather emergency leaves a member without shelter or food.
In extreme circumstances, educational training is needed by a member lacking the necessary skills for employment.


In the case of a natural disaster, an expedited application is available. The completed application can be submitted directly to ALA National Headquarters.

Application Process

Members may request an application by contacting their unit or department headquarters and must submit their completed applications to an officer of the ALA unit to which the member belongs. The unit president, secretary, and investigator will complete the unit portion and forward the application to ALA National Headquarters. Applications are reviewed by the national AEF case manager. The national AEF Grant Committee, which consists of representatives from the headquarters of the American Legion Auxiliary and The American Legion, reviews each application and awards assistance according to case findings. The AEF maintains the confidentiality of all applicants. AEF applications, supporting documents, and case files are not disclosed or released to anyone outside of the AEF Grant Committee.


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Auxiliary Emergency Fund

Since the Auxiliary Emergency Fund was established, more than $6 million has been awarded to more than 6,500 members. To continue providing this assistance, we need your generous support. Please donate today and know that you are helping make a better tomorrow for your fellow Auxiliary members.

I appreciate all your help and kindness. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart.”
- AEF Grant Recipient

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