The VFW Auxiliary was founded in 1914 to help veterans and their families, has been instrumental in VFW volunteer efforts. Promoting patriotism and helping veterans in need are just two of the many ways the Auxiliary serves America's communities. The Ladies Auxiliary has its own volunteer programs directed to the VA, State, and Community Hospitals. The Ladies Auxiliary is involved in a vast range of activities while continuing to support the VFW. Their main goal is helping families in distress, also perform community service, fund cancer research, fight drug abuse, illiteracy, advocate for the rights of the elderly, supports the VFW National Home and Special Olympics. The Ladies Auxiliary membership has been expanded to include not only wives of VFW members, but also their mothers, widows, sisters, half-sisters, daughters, grandmothers, grand-daughters, foster mothers and foster daughters are also eligible, provided their relationship with the VFW member predates his military service.
Ladies Auxiliaries had formed at different posts since 1905. Prior to the VFW National Convention, in Pittsburgh in September 1914, Commander-in-Chief Rice W. Means sent a call to all Posts that had Auxiliaries, requesting they have a representative in Pittsburgh where Florence E. Stark of Camden, New Jersey, was elected by the members present to act as Chairman and presided over the meeting with assistance by Captain Hansbury, an advisor. A total of 16 post answered the call. Commander-in-Chief Rice W. Means organized and obligated the ladies into a National Organization. All delegates paid their personal per capita tax in order that a treasury might be started at once. Thirteen auxiliaries had been formed and with all debts paid, a small balance remained in the treasury. The minutes of the Convention in 1915 testify to the hard work the National Officers did to firmly establish the organization and at the 1916 convention in Chicago, the chair was turned over to a newly elected National President of the VFW Ladies Auxiliaries. Today, the VFW Ladies Auxiliaries are step in step with the mens VFW and are a great part of the overall success of our benevolent organization. Salute to the VFW Ladies Auxiliaries.
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