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Definition of Community Service Community Service as defined by the National Community Service Trust Act "encompasses any human act serving the common good; in the interest of the community.” Elsewhere, community service is further defined as "a service that is performed for the benefit of the public or its institutions.”
The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. subscribes to the above but adds that, for the purposes of volunteer recognition, VFW community service must be performed by and as a representative of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and must be performed for an organization outside the VFW and its Auxiliaries and must be verified by an authorized representative of that organization. As it is the intent of VFW community service to impact a broad spectrum of the local community.
In addition, efforts performed for the benefit of the Post or Auxiliary’s benefit should not be considered as community service. An example of this kind of effort would be maintenance, upkeep or beautification of the Post home, cooking or serving a meal for a Post fund raiser, or working on bingo night. Additionally, efforts that are part of the normal requirements of a Post or Auxiliary would not be considered community service. Examples of this would be flying the American Flag, POW Flag, conducting Flag retirement programs, placing flags on graves, building memorials, bingo, Post dinners, Buddy Poppy drives, or anything that only benefits the Post.
A particularly controversial area in VFW community service is service to one’s church. Generally, these efforts are not considered community service for two reasons: 1) they are not performed for the community at large; 2) they are part of an individual’s service to their faith and not to the VFW. The exception to this would be performing the same service for all the churches, etc. in a given community.
Patriotic Holidays Celebrating patriotic holidays is not just a VFW function but an American tradition. Recognition of the sacrifices of our fellow veterans is not just the act of organizing an event or participating in a parade, but an obligation to past, present and future generations of Americans that set aside their lives to ensure the freedoms of this country’s way of life and its citizens’ rights. The VFW has historically taken the lead in promoting patriotic celebrations across the U.S. Each Post must recognize its sacred duty to continue to lead their community in celebrations of America’s values, its history and its heroes.
The following are some of the patriotic holidays we suggest that the Post become involved in promoting throughout the year. We also recommend that you check the VFW annual calendar for important dates and events in U.S. and VFW history.
Memorial Day Independence Day
Veterans Day Flag Day
Patriots Day, Sept. 11
There are numerous ways to celebrate these events and additional support and resources throughout the community. The following are just a few suggestions of events and basic steps for organizing your local events. The key is to be creative.
Types of events: • Parades • Memorial Services • Flag Events (grave placement, lining the streets, Flag groves, etc.) • Dinners & Luncheons – invitees, honorees, presenters • Award ceremonies (military, first responders, civic leaders, outstanding citizens, etc.) • The Moving Wall • Stand Down for Homeless Veterans.
Report Community Service at VFWCA.org Login Members Only