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 organizations 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 American Legion 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 to nonprofit organizations each year that works to improve the lives of young people.  These grants have aided organ-donor campaigns, supported efforts to help military children cope with deployment or loss of a parent, and funded projects that increased public awareness of Huntington’s Disease, autism, Reyes 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, Family Support Network and Temporary Financial Assistance for families of the deployed, and Operation:  Military Kids, among 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 Commission Children & Youth, as it seeks to improve the well-being of all children.  Every generation of veterans knows that the key to the future strongly supports traditional family values, assistance for at0risk children, and activities that promote their healthy and wholesome development.  While there is no way of knowing what issues will face our youth tomorrow, our survival may well depend on the quality of care, education and training that we, as parents and citizens, provide for young people today.