STATE COMMUNITY SERVICE CHAIRMAN
The Community Service reporting year is now in sync with National and started on 1 July through 30 June.
THE IMPORTANCE OF COMMUNITY SERVICE TO THE VFW:
The VFW and its Auxiliary’s ability to impact veterans, youth, patriotism, civic pride, volunteerism and just about anything you can name is dependent upon your Post’s being recognized as a caring and involved participant in the community. All of the great deeds performed by comrades across South Carolina should be recognized and accounted for.
For this reason, Community Service reporting is an important requirement of every Post in the Department of South Carolina. Community service is also part of the criteria for All State recognition.
New Department of South Carolina Clyde Lindsay Award (Most Outstanding Post Community Service Award UPDATED - 2-3-24
**** COMMUNITY SERVICE
What is Community Service and what should I report?
Reporting your Community Service activities:
In this Department, we use
our www.vfwsc.org website to report activities
electronically. Each Post should submit
reports using our online report form as activities are completed or at least monthly AND ONLY by the
Commander’s designated individual. Please DO NOT wait until the end of the
reporting year to report activities. Instructions for individual comrades are included below.
are simple instructions for online reporting for the Commander’s reporting
1. Go to www.vfwsc.org
2. Log into "Members
Only” using your Member # as Username and last name as Password
3. Click on the link
labeled "Community Service Reporting” and fill out the information for
EACH ACTIVITY. All your AUXILIARY
numbers should be combined at the Post and reported here
4. After you submit, you'll
receive an email with your report details
IS IMPORTANT THAT YOUR REPORTS INCLUDE AN EXPLANATION OF HOW THE ACTIVITY MEETS
THE CRITERIA FOR THE CATEGORY YOU ARE REPORTING! Incomplete reports will not be approved and
will be returned for revision. Once
reports are clarified, the chairman will approve the report and the results
will be added to the Department’s Report Card.
Note: You may combine reports for similar
activities. For example, a comrade volunteers at the local food bank every
Wednesday during the month for 2 hours. Submit ONE REPORT for one comrade for 8 HOURS (4 Wednesdays) and include
the dates in the description block of the online report form.
Once your online reports
are approved, you will find the report totals for your Post on the Department's
Fillable Auxiliary Report Form for VFW Community Service - On-line fillable form.
For use by the Auxiliary to document Community Service that can be reported to the VFW. Post Community Service Chairman use this information to update your post Community Service report.
WHAT IS COMMUNITY SERVICE
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
The VFW subscribes to the above, but adds that for the purpose of volunteer recognition, VFW Community Service must be performed by and as a representative of the VFW for an organization outside of the VFW and its Auxiliaries and must be verified by an authorized representative of that organization.
it is the intent of VFW community service to impact a broad spectrum of
the local community, credit will only be given for a maximum of 1,000
hours to any single organization within a 12-month period.
In addition, efforts performed for the benefit of the Post or Auxiliary should NOT be considered community service. Examples would be maintenance, upkeep or beautification of the Post home, cooking or serving a meal for a Post fundraiser, 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 providing an honor guard for a member’s funeral, flying the American flag, and conducting Flag retirement programs (unless this is performed for the entire community).
Here are just a few examples of valid community service activities:
-hosting a welcome home party for a military unit at the Post and providing a free meal to those attendees.
-driving a fellow veteran to the local VA facility.
-building a handicap ramp for a veteran
-delivering meals to a shut in
-hosting a Quilts of Valor ceremony and providing meals to veterans and family attendees
-serving on a town committee to help plan Memorial and/or Independence Day activities
-Placing flags on graves for Memorial Day
WHAT IS NOT COMMUNITY SERVICE
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, and 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.
Examples of reports that cannot be approved:
● Passing out Buddy Poppies
● Hours working on a fundraiser
● Serving meals at the Post to members or guests when there is a charge for those meals
● Flying the flag at home and at the Post
● Mowing the lawn at the Post
● Putting on a breakfast for Post members.
● Providing Post facilities for a pool tournament
WHY REPORTING IS IMPORTANT
At the end of each reporting year, VFW national reports the number of hours and the monetary value of all of our donated time and money to Congress. These total numbers demonstrate the importance of the VFW to our government, the savings we provide to the government and the Veterans Administration, and why we should continue to maintain our tax-exempt status.
WHY REPORTS MUST BE "HONEST AND ACCURATE”
The VFW is always susceptible to an audit by the Internal Revenue Service. Reports that are inflated or are not within report guidelines can jeopardize our tax-exempt status.
WHAT TO DO AT POST LEVEL
Post should have a Community Service (CS) chairman who will be the only
comrade designated to complete the Post’s CS reports via the vfwsc.org website.
Log in at "Members Only” and enter your Member ID number and Password,
then just click on "Program Reporting” and the blank report form will be
there for you to complete. PLEASE PROVIDE A GOOD DESCRIPTION OF EACH
ACTIVITY AND EXPLAIN HOW IT MEETS THE CATEGORY THAT YOU HAVE SELECTED.
The categories are explained on the website just above the Program
Individual Community Service Report forms on hand at your Post for your
members to complete and leave for your Post Community Service
chairman. Some posts maintain a binder with blank forms for comrades to
take home and complete. Some posts put the Community Service Report
Form for Individual Comrades on their post web site. Comrades can then
download their report forms directly from the website, complete the
report form, and send it electronically or physically return the report
to the Post for the chairman to review.
chairman should consolidate reports at the Post level. He/she should
also gather reports from your Post’s Auxiliary President and report
Auxiliary hours, miles, money along with the Post’s reports on the
Chairmen should try to send reports in AS THEY OCCUR or, at least, on a monthly basis.
WHAT NOT TO DO
Do not "double report”. Don’t report the same activity under more than one category and claim the dollars, miles, comrades and hours again and again.
Example: your Post marches in the local parade (which would be Americanism) and invites the local Scout organization to participate (which would be Youth Activities). You had 10 comrades march in the parade and the parade lasted three hours. Report 30 hours, 10 members, and the mileage for each of the 10 comrades under Americanism. Send a different report for the Youth Activity but DO NOT INCLUDE HOURS, COMRADES, MONEY, MILEAGE etc. again. That would be double reporting if you claimed those hours again under a different category.!
Post should make Safety an agenda item at each meeting. Make sure you
report it! If the safety briefing took 3 minutes, just Multiply 3
minutes times 20 comrades attending to get 1 hour. Enter 1 in the
report. If it took 4 minutes, 4 times 20 equals 80 minutes. Change to a
decimal and enter 1.33 hours.
Categories of Community Service for Reporting:
● COMMUNITY SERVICE includes any activities within your community which help to benefit the community, school, parks, recycling, neighborhood cleanings, etc.
● AID TO OTHERS is self-explanatory. Taking a hot meal to a veteran who can't get out is an example.
● AMERICANISM/CITIZEN EDUCATION is simply taking the time to teach someone about flag etiquette, the Constitution, military service, etc.
● YOUTH PROGRAMS include the annual Voice of Democracy, Patriot's Pen, Scout of the Year Program, etc.
● YOUTH ACTIVITIES - Posts and Auxiliaries are encouraged to provide youth programs within the community such as Athletics, Scouting, Contests, Education, Recognition, etc.
● SAFETY - Pedestrian, Drug Awareness, Recreational, Highway, Home/Fire, etc
● MILITARY SERVICE - Any support given to a unit, an individual family member, ceremonies, welcome home, uplink, Unmet Needs, USO, etc.
COMMUNITY SERVICE & AID TO OTHERS - (Post activities within your community which help to benefit the community, school, parks, recycling, neighborhood cleanings, etc.)
Annual Community Service
In addition to the Department’s award
criteria, the attached Manual has all of the Award Criteria and forms for these
Community Service related programs.
Questions? If you need any help or guidance, please
contact the Department Chairman, Nick Camera, at email@example.com
|Adopt a Road Trash Pick Up- Your Post can Adopt-a-Road to pick up trash and then extend it to the Post cleaning the grounds.
|Food Drive for Military Families- Have a local food drive for the military families in the area.
|Cemetery Clean Up- Clean grave headstones of military veterans in local cemeteries.
|Game Day- Partner with other non-profit organizations in the area to promote & present information for veteran benefits. Invite the local General, Mayor, Fire Chief, Police Chief, County Judge, and VA officials and have them speak on the programs they provide.
|Placing Flags at a Local Cemetery- Place flags and clean around the headstones at local cemeteries.
|Memorial Marker Restoration- Restore memorial markers in the area.
|Blood Drive-Hold a blood drive at your Post.
|Beach Clean Up- Pick up trash and to keep local beaches clean.
|Park Clean-Up- Hold a local park clean-up event
|Operation Christmas- Build cars and trucks for Operation Christmas Child and the Salvation Army Angle Tree.
|Visiting Incarcerated Veterans- Visit incarcerated Veteran prisoners in the local jail. The intent is to learn about their military service, thank them for their service, tell them that they have not been forgotten by their fellow Veterans, identify any Veteran related matter where we may be able to assist, check on the welfare of their families, put them on a list to get mail from our Post at Christmas and on Veterans Day.
|First Responder Recognition Day- Hold a food drive in honor of First Responder Recognition Day.
|Fish Fry- Cooking and serving a meal and helping the homeless people in the community.
|Veterans Resource Fair-Hosting a Veteran's Resource Fair for the National Day of Service. Bringing in a VSO and representatives from a variety of service providers that can benefit the veteran community.
|Vietnam Veterans Luncheon-Host a luncheon at your VFW post to celebrate and honor veterans of all services in the community. You can also invite vendors with veteran-related resources.
|Providing Benches for Veterans' Bus Stops- Provide benches at specific areas throughout Your city so that troops have a place to rest while waiting on bus service. Each bench can have the logo of the post attached.
|Visit the VA Home- Visit the VA home and conduct activities with Veterans including games, talking with them, working with them on their needs, and helping them with the PACT Act.
|Continuing Education Scholarships- Offer two $500 continuing education scholarships to High School candidates.
|Open House and Family Day- Host an open house and family day at your VFW Post. You can share about the work you do and your various programs. Offer face painting, a bounce house, and more for the kids.
|Headshots For Hero's- Hold a Headshots for Hero's Day of Service event for veterans in need of professional headshots
|Veteran's Fair and Adopt-a-Pet- Hold a veterans fair and an adopt-a-pet event.
|Chili Fundraiser-Have a chili fundraiser at your Post
|Operation Backpack-Have your members partner with the community to hand out backpacks filled with everyday necessities.
|Community Service Event Health Fair-Have a Community Service Event and Health Fair. Partner with a local Adult Center, Church, Veterans Service Agency, and Girl or Boy Scout troops. Serve food, music, health information, and unity.
|Fishing Tournament- Have a local fishing tournament and have a portion go to local veteran organizations.
You could have two phases of the fishing tournament the first phase is for Veterans & adult civilians and the second phase is for Veterans children and civilian children. The goal of this event is to honor our nation's veterans.
|Mentoring and Ministry for Youth and Young Couples- Hold a mentoring and ministry with the local church for youth and young couples.
|Mental Health Awareness and Food Drive- Hold an event with a motorcade driving at 22mph to 10 stops. At each stop we will pick up donated canned goods. We will also have a speaker at each stop to talk about who veterans can call to get help with mental health.
|Clean up local Park & Baseball fields-Hold clean up events at local parks and baseball fields. Cleaning overgrowth and picking up litter.
|Helping a Fellow Veteran- Find a local Veteran in need and support and assist them with house needs etc.
|Red Cross Blood Drive- Run a Red Cross blood drive at your Post.
|Health and Wellness Fair- Hold a Disaster Preparedness Health and Wellness Day of Service.
|Community Event and 2k Run- Have a community event with a 2K run. Provide VFW information, recruit, and answer questions about the PACT and COMPACT ACTS.
|Lunch Delivery to First Responders-Host a lunch delivery to first responders to support them. You can deliver sub sandwich meals to the first responders in the area.
|Craft Day with Veterans- Hold a craft day for veterans. Assist patients in making a craft that displays the US Flag and POW/MIA flag; and provide a snack.
|Honor an Ex-POW from the Vietnam War-Find an Ex POW to honor in your area
|Pet Adoption and Diaper Drive-Hold a pet adoption event for a local Pet Rescue. In addition, you could partner with the County's Children and Youth Services to collect and distribute diapers and baby wipes for local children, primarily infants, as they enter the foster care system.
|Painting a Home-Find someone in the area who needs their home painted
|Wheelchair Ramp install- Locate someone local who needs a wheelchair ramp at their home.
|Hike to Prevent Veteran Suicide- Hold a hike to raise veteran suicide awareness.
|Community Project with JROTC- Hold a joint event with the local JROTC. As a joint venture between the VFW Members, JROTC Students, and College Veteran-Students. You can select a Veteran from the local community to help with home improvements. You can paint a veteran's home and better the look of the community. All the paint and supplies are donated and funded by VFW Post.
|Habitat for Humanity-Help build houses for Habitat for Humanity.
|Benefit Car and Bike Run-We are holding a benefit car and bike run. The Post will also have an open house to let veterans see what they offer and what other veteran services are available in the area.
|Volunteer Event at VA Hospital-Volunteer at the local VA Hospital.
|Community Information Booth and Health Checks-We are holding a community booth and health checks. Donate personnel, time, and resources that will benefit the community as well as uplift veterans who volunteer and help us with planning and coordination.
|Three-Day Food Drive Event-Hold a three-day event supporting the USPS carrier's food drive. On day 1 deliver flyers around your area, on day 2 we assist at a collection point loading food into a truck, and on day 3 assist in sorting donated food at the local Food Pantry.
|Build Bunk Beds for Kids-Build bunk beds with the organization Sleep in Heavenly Sleep for children that don't have a bed.
|Food Bank Golf Tournament-Hold a golf tournament to support the local Food Bank.
|Rebuilding A Veterans Fence-Rebuild a Veterans fence.
|Breakfast for the Homeless- Cook breakfast for the homeless at the local Union Station
|Thank You Letter Writing Campaign to Veterans- Partner with a local school and have students write letters to veterans thanking them for their service. Pass them out to veterans at your post.
|Veterans Breakfast and Parade-Have your post host a breakfast before the Memorial Day parade. Open it up to everyone in the community. Then donate the proceeds will go toward the local youth scholarship programs and supporting youth organizations in the community.
|Oyster Feed- Hold an oyster feed event. Cook and serve food at your post or a local Hall. You can find a local fundraiser to donate the earnings to.
|Motorcycle Safety Event and Mentorship Ride- If you have VFW Members who are motorcycle riders they can lead and teach newer and less experienced Motorcycle Riders how to navigate daily traffic hazards, participate in an advanced skills course, and a ride.
The Post Members and Riders not Riding can assist in keeping everyone hydrated. You can also provide information on VFW Programs and Projects while recruiting new Members and covering our Post's extensive motorcycle safety program.
|Visit Local Nursing Homes and Homebound Veterans-Visit local nursing homes and homebound veterans. You can bring activities and needed essentials. Spend time with them and listen to their stories.
|Blanket Drive-Have a blanket drive at your post. You can also partner with the local sheriff's department, who use the blankets to give to children as needed.
|Car Wash for Veterans-Contact rest home and assisted living homes to serve veterans who have vehicles. Wash their cars, wax their cars, and clean the inside of their cars.
|Refurbish and Relocate Park Benches- Refurbish local park benches. Find a local park in your area that has park benches, pressure clean and re-stain them, replace all boards with newly painted lumber.
|Hygienic Supplies Provide hygienic supplies to two local schools in need.
|Sleep and Heavenly Peace Charity Event-We will be holding an event to support children in need. With support from Sleep and Heavenly Peace Charity, you can build bunk beds for children in need.
|Elderly Check-Ins-Check in with elderly veterans. Help them with basic food and health needs, or just an ear to listen if someone needs to talk.
|Craft with a Vet-Members of Post 9972 will set up at the Mall of Sierra Vista for a community event. Kids will be able to come "Craft with a Vet" and create popsicle stick flags, necklaces and bracelets in red, white and blue in preparation of Memorial Day.
|Memorial Day Service and Free Lunch- Hold a Memorial Day service and after the Service, have your Post provide a free lunch followed by an afternoon of local musical entertainment and games.
|Choir Performance and Dinner- Partner with the local High School and have their choir perform at the post. Afterward, you can provide members and their families with a good meal and a good visit with others who attended.
|Food Drive and Veterans Outreach- Hold a food drive for Veterans in need and hold a taco dinner for homeless veterans living in the area.
|Honor Our Fallen Heroes- Partner with Wreaths Across America https://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/
|Assistance with Writing Claims-Have your Post help write claims for anyone who needs help, you can also help them navigate the red tape and CFR
|BBQ and Raffle- Have a free barbecue with hot dogs, brats, and soda. And throw in a raffle.
|Gun Club Clean Up Day- Hold a clean-up event at the local gun club shooting area, also make repairs to the site.
|Paint the American Legion Building- Hold an event to paint or beautify the local American Legion building in your area. Volunteers from the Post and the community will purchase all of the supplies for the project and paint and clean the building together.
|Disaster Relief- Provide disaster relief and recovery.
|Building and Installing Raised Flower Beds- Gather volunteers from your Post to build and install raised flower beds for the local Veterans' Home. W
|Health Day Fair and Anti-Fentanyl Education- Throw a two-day Health Fair with county and state VA officials. adding in a monthly anti-fentanyl education in schools, the library, and on public television.
|Community Car Show- Hold a community car show to get to know the communities around you. Use this time to introduce our VFW Post further. Highlighting veterans, promoting community involvement (Military Vehicle Association, Scouts, Civil Air Patrol, JROTC, car clubs, schools, and local businesses), recruit new members, raise funds, and have fun. Additionally, you could have a tent with military equipment (uniforms, helmets, etc.).
|Memorial Day Events- Hold a Countywide Memorial Day event to honor all who have sacrificed for our freedom. The program participants include members from every veterans' organization, municipality, and county High School’s JR ROTCs.Share info about your Post
|Care Packages for Guard Members-We are putting together care packages for our deployed guard members
|Student Program Event- Partner with the school system to sponsor a student program to make poppies and place them in front of the school with a sign to honor the fallen.
|Veterans Open House- Hold a Veterans Open House with multiple veterans organizations to ensure VSOs, State Veterans organizations, and the VFW are available for anyone needing assistance and to answer any questions.
|Volunteer for Childhood Cancer Foundation- Volunteer at the local Childhood Cancer Center in your area.
|Veteran Buddy Check- Volunteers at the post can hold a Buddy Check and call local veterans. To ensure that they are remembered and asked about their needs. You can reach out by emailing, calling, or visiting them.
|Grant Program Assisting Local Veterans- Engage with local veterans and homeless organizations. identify veterans who need help to appeal a negative VA decision or need help with discharge upgrades in order to qualify for VA benefits.
|Pizza Night- Host a "Pizza Night" by purchasing and serving the pizza. Share info about your post and what you provide to the community.
|Free Fishing Day for Kids- Hold a free fishing day and provide lunch to all in attendance. Provide fishing pools and tackle to those who need them. All kids participating can walk away with a participation trophy.
|Veterans Salute- Hold a "Welcome Home" event for soldiers who never received the proper "Home Coming."
|Armed Forces Day Picnic-Hold an Armed Forces Day Picnic. Join forces with an American Legion Post or another VFW and have an Armed Forces Day Picnic for all veterans and their families in your county and surrounding counties. You can have live entertainment, bouncy houses for the kids, and food. Have information booths set up for each organization on Veterans Helping Veterans, and deliver food to Veterans who are shut in.
|Wildland Fire Safety - Hold a Wildland Fire Safety event partner with agencies and raise awareness on what individuals and communities can do to help protect themselves against the threat of wildfires.
|Free Community Breakfast- Hold a community-sponsored complimentary breakfast for all veterans, veterans' spouses, and VFW Auxiliary Members. Then on a Friday Night from 6 pm - 8 pm host a Female Force Friday Dinner. Any female service member, past or present, and their family can join for a potluck meal.
|Motorcycle Ride- Charity fundraiser Motorcycle Ride. Stop at various area VFWs
|Veteran Remembrance- Display uniforms at veteran remembrance events at schools, state and county fairs, veteran memorials, churches, etc.
|Community Service Awards and Loyalty Day Dinner- Have a Community Service award ceremony with a Dinner. And have a guest speaker.
|Spaghetti Dinner- Host a Spaghetti Dinner for the public and funds raised can go to a local food bank,
|Post Clean Up Day and More- Hold a Post Cleanup Day and collect cans of food to send to the local Food Bank to support homeless veterans. Also, provide Buddy Checks on our Veterans to ensure they are all safe.
|Placing Welcome Signs - We are putting up a sign welcoming people to our county.
|Welcome Home Vietnam Veteran Event - Host a Welcome Home event for Vietnam Veterans.
|Free Lunch - Free lunch for veterans in your area
|Post Beatification, Food Drive, and Veteran Outreach - Perform building beatification, hold a mobile food drive, and provide veteran outreach.
|Clean Up, Food Bank, and Flag Planting -Find a vet in need of help around the house. Raise can goods for a food bank, place flags on graves of veterans.
|Yoga and Breathwork- Find a local Yoga teacher and have them come to the Post and put on a workshop for veterans on how to calm the nervous system, giving them tools to work through PTSD situations.
|Horse Therapy for Veterans- Contact https://vetsct.org/ or https://www.warhorsesforveterans.org/ to have an event
|Pin Up Girl Contest- Have a Pin Up Girl Contest at your Post and have food to raise money to a local charity
|Volunteer at a Veterans Hospice House- Spend time with veterans who are on hospice.