Service, Not Self

Auxiliary Emergency Fund (AEF)

The Auxiliary Emergency Fund (AEF) is a national grant assistance program that provides temporary emergency help to eligible members of the American Legion Auxiliary who have suffered a significant financial setback as the result of an act of nature or other personal crisis.

The AEF was established in 1969 with a bequest from the estate of Auxiliary member Helen Colby Small of Burlington, Wis. It continues today solely through generous donations from Auxiliary members.

Assistance Information

AEF grant applications are reviewed by the AEF Grant Committee on a case-by-case basis, and awards may be granted up to a maximum of $2,400. Grant funds may be used only for emergency shelter, food or utilities. AEF funds 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?

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

Eligible members seeking emergency assistance apply via a process involving their unit, department and 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 and secretary will complete the unit portion and forward the application to the department secretary. After verifying the member’s eligibility, the department secretary will submit the application to National Headquarters for consideration by the AEF Grant Committee. Applications are reviewed by the national AEF case manager.

The national AEF Grant Committee, comprised of representatives from the headquarters of the American Legion Auxiliary and The American Legion, reviews each application and awards AEF assistance according to case findings. The AEF Grant Committee maintains the confidentiality of all applicants. AEF applications, reviews, supporting documents and case files are not disclosed or released to anyone outside the AEF Grant Committee.

Link to ALA National Website: