American Legion Auxiliary MLK Event

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Bloomington – On Jan. 16, local American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) members will join hundreds of thousands of Americans in making the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday “a day on, not a day off,” by serving in his honor. King used his influence as a civil rights leader to leave a great legacy of community service, and members of the ALA are proud to be a part of that special day.

Auxiliary members, all over the US, are concentrating their efforts toward those who gave unselfishly to this country — our veterans. These veterans-centered service projects included job fairs, meal delivery, beautification projects, home improvements, and bringing friends along to volunteer at VA Medical Centers.

Bloomington’s American Legion Auxiliary (Unit 18) plans to be busy all day long in service to others. They will host Connecting, Collecting and Caring Day targeting many different demographics such as currently deployed Soldiers, Indiana Veterans Home residents, Veterans (in general), struggling families with children whom need food and shelter assistance and Girl Scouts education. The event features multiple stations of activities and educational opportunities about local community organization opportunities. Participants will help assist with making up Dignity Bags, Care Packages, Wreaths, Encouragement Cards, Flag Placemats and Pocket Flags. They will work with Girl Scouts to teach them about the American Legion Auxiliary’s programs such as the Poppy, Americanism, Legislative, Hoosier Veterans Assistance Program, local Stand Down and Hoosier Girls State. Not only is there a focus on this special day, but this event will kick off the 40 days of peace. The hope is to connect with community groups and businesses to assist in collecting items for a Food Bank – Pantry 279 and providing awareness about our Poppy Program (any funds collected go directly to assist Veterans). The overall goal is to better connect with the programs we are assisting and make a difference in the lives of others.

“We are truly blessed to have received a grant from the City of Bloomington to help others”, says President, Shelby Kiser. She went on to say, “while we often do service projects, it helps to have this extra assistance so we can make a bigger impact.”

The Project’s Lead and Children & Youth Chairman, Jenny Tracy agreed with Kiser’s comments and went on to explain that “this was a large undertaking, but with the help of many, we hope to have our efforts touch up to 5,000+ people”. Several local Linton residents are helping with this project to make it successful. We are lucky to have such dedicated souls to assist the American Legion Auxiliary and their programing.Tracy has been involved in many projects in the community and typically puts her heart and soul into every volunteer activity. She exclaimed that she is excited about many facets of the day, but the most interesting part for her will be interacting with state and local politicians. “I write many letters to our Politicians asking for their support on Veterans focused bills and activities. It will be great to be in a relaxed environment listening to those that affect public policy and support those that sacrifice so much – our VETERANS”. She mentioned that those that will be present will be State Representatives Peggy Mayfield and Matt Pierce, County Commissioner Amanda Barge and City Councilman, Allison Chopra. Many others wanted to attend, but had other commitments for this special day.

The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), a federal agency that oversees the nation’s domestic service initiatives, led the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service in partnership with the King Center and nonprofits, community groups, schools, and businesses across the country. As a partner with CNCS, the ALA found it important to join the efforts.

American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) members have dedicated themselves for nearly a century to meeting the needs of our nation’s veterans, military, and their families both here and abroad. They volunteer millions of hours yearly, with a value averaging $2 billion each year. As part of the world’s largest women’s patriotic service organization, ALA volunteers across the country also step up to honor veterans and military through annual scholarships and with ALA Girls State programs, teaching high school juniors to be leaders grounded in patriotism and Americanism. To learn more about the ALA’s mission or to volunteer, donate or join, visit

Greene County Area Food Pantries as of February 2016:

•Lebanon Baptist Church located on Highway 59 in Midland, Ind. Open on the fourth Thursday of the month from 6-7 p.m. Call 812-847-4097

•Linton Community Food Pantry located at 440 East Street Northeast in Linton, Ind. Open Tuesday and Thursday from 1-4 p.m. and on Saturday from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m. Caters to Linton zip code only, must have photo I.D. and limit one visit per month.

•Pleasantville Methodist Church open the second and fourth Saturday of the month from 10:30 a.m. until noon. Serves Pleasantville, Carlisle, Paxton, Dugger and Sandborn.

•Solsberry Christian Church located at 10825 East Christian Chuch Road open Monday from 11-2 p.m., Tuesday from 10-2 p.m. and Wednesday from 2-5:30 p.m. Serves Beech, Center and Jackson Townships only and must have proof of address. Contact 812-825-5222

•Sonshine Shop located at 14 North Washington Street in Worthington, Ind. Open the second and fourth Wednesday and Saturday by appointment. Must be resident of Worthington and have I.D. proof of current address. Contact 812-875-2286

•Scotland Old Fire Station, a Catholic Charity Mobile Pantry open the fourth Wednesday of the month from 10:30 a.m. until noon in Scotland, Ind. Must sign in and provide number of people in household.

•Assembly of God located at 337 West Main Street in Jasonville Ind. on Sundays from 12 noon until 12:45 p.m. and by emergency appointment. Must attend a church and bring a church bulletin. Call 812-665-2279

•Back Door Food Pantry (mobile pantry) located at the Jasonville Methodist Church, (white building behind church), 311 South Meridian Street in Jasonville, Ind. on the third Saturday from 10-2 p.m. and the first Wednesday of the month from 10-11 a.m. Must reside in Shakamak School district.

•Bloomfield First Baptist located at 500 Lincoln Drive in Bloomfield, Ind. Monday through Thursday from 9-11:45 a.m. and on Tuesday from 5-7 p.m. Contact 812-384-8459

• Community Food Pantry located at Broad and Jefferson in Lyons, Ind. on the first Saturday of the month from 10-12 p.m. and the third Monday of the month from 3-5 p.m. Serves Lyons, Switz City and Newberry zip codes.

•Family Life Center located on Highway 54 in Bloomfield, Ind. Monday through Friday from 9-5 p.m. Must be resident of Greene County and provide I.D. with current address. Limit one visit per month. Contact 812-384-1639.