By: Carol Kennedy, Department Commander

I want to continue to impress upon you the need for contributions to the Colorado Veterans Kids Fund. These funds will help veteran’s minor children have shoes and coats to face the Colorado winter that is just around the corner. It will provide immediate food, so no veteran’s child will have to go to bed hungry. How can we tell a 3 or 4 year old there is nothing to eat? We should NEVER have to do that. I am asking each Post, Auxiliary and SAL to make a contribution to CVKF and individual donations are also gratefully accepted. Remember, a tax deduction receipt will be given to those donating. Also work in your communities to help us identify those veterans that have minor children in need. Have them contact department and the arrangements can made very quickly. If you know a veteran that is in need of assistance from the recent flooding, have them contact their local post or the department for assistance. Post 18 in Greeley, under the direction of Commander Jim Hartshorn have been working hard to help those needing assistance in the Weld County Flood. We are proud of what we all do for our legion family.

Department Sr. Vice Commander Richard Humphrey and his membership team have been really working hard to get our membership areas into the fast lane. They are working on recruiting new members, rejuvenating sluggish posts, renew current members and then educating and rewarding those that are working membership in your posts. Have your post consider paying all the renewals now and then work on collecting the funds over the next few months. Everyone wins then. When it comes to membership—COLORADO ROCKS!!!!! Watch for more blasts and letters from the membership committee working with you to keep you posts healthy in membership.

What picture is your life painting? During Legionnaire Joe Ross’s funeral today, the priest said that the things we do in our lives paint a picture reflecting every thing we touched. He included church, home life, community works and the way we approach our special legion family members and the legion programs. How are you painting the legion portion of that picture of your life?? Are you putting in the vivid hues of color as you help veterans, the deeper quieter hues of the love you show for family and friends??? This picture is how we will remember each of you. Make sure you put every color in the spectrum on your canvass. Be it a Picasso or Rembrandt or Smith; be proud of the picture you paint. We will miss Joe, his smile, his music and his love for The American Legion Family. Joe painted a huge beautiful portrait of his life. We will never forget him. Our love and prayers go to Jackie and the Ross Family.

I have been showing a video at the Fall Conferences, called “Why”. It addresses the approach of why people join our organizations and why they participate to the degree they do. It has been proven that volunteers join and work really hard for some organizations because they believe the “why” not the what. WHY do you contribute to The American Legion?? Because you believe in the same things that The American Legion believes in. We believe in patriotism. We believe in helping our veterans and children and our communities. The “what” in our beliefs are the tasks we complete, like lobbying, supporting hospitals and clinics, and Boys State and Oratorical, etc. I ask that you continue to do the what, but also tell everyone you meet “why” we do what we do. Our beliefs. . . then invite them to step up and join us and together we will make a difference in this world.

Continue your good works and love . We are so very blessed to have each of you in this wonderful family.

“Ignite Patriotism”