As Legionnaires, our most sacred responsibility is to look out for each other and our fellow veterans. National Commander Brett Reistad has called for a Buddy Check during our National Week of Calling around the Legion’s 100th birthday as a way to reach out to members and former members who may need help. Perhaps they have been waiting for a personal call or visit to renew or rejoin. No matter their situations, we can do as our founders did by making personal contact with veterans in our communities.
How do I organize a Buddy Check?
1. Gather up a team if possible to call or personally visit members and former members of The American Legion. If each member in a team of 10 calls just 10 Legionnaires or former Legionnaires, 100 veterans can be reached in one sitting.
2. If you don’t have a list of members and former members at your fingertips, visit myLegion.org and download the names of current members and those who have let their memberships expire.
3. Save the file of members and those whose memberships have expired onto a spreadsheet or copy and paste into a Word file to distribute among your team members. Print several copies of the lists.
4. Divide up the call list among your team members. Some may have personal connections with the member or the former member and should make that particular buddy check.
5. Start calling – either from a quiet place inside the post or from your home – to see how the members and former members are doing, ask if they need anything and invite them to any event or activity planned to help celebrate the Legion’s 100th anniversary.
6. Use the spreadsheet to record your calls and identify those who haven’t been members since 2014, 2015 or 2016. For each former member who rejoins from those years, your post may receive a $5 reward.
7. If you are making it a group effort, where many members of your team are calling on a particular night or time, invite the local media to show The American Legion celebrating its 100th birthday the personal way: by checking in on their buddies in the community.
8. Make sure you thank the member or former member in the beginning and at the end of your call.
9. If the member or former member wishes to renew, be sure to have your post’s payment procedure at your fingertips, the address to send a check or offer to stop by in person to pick it up (another opportunity to connect).
10. Leave contact information in case the member or former member can’t take the call or needs anything in the future.