National Commander Commentary
Ellen L. Timmerman, Auxiliary National Commander
Healthy membership means a healthy Auxiliary
Membership is the lifeblood of our organization, and without new members, we run the risk of losing out on new ideas from fresh perspectives that could help our Auxiliary move forward.
Recruiting new members and retaining them are keys to any organization and especially to our mission of fulfilling our promises to the men and women who served.
We can’t stress the benefits of membership enough and how this impacts our ability to improve the lives of ill and injured veterans, as well as their families. Membership numbers also lend more strength to our voice on critical legislative issues. I hope all of you are working to build relationships with your local DAV chapter to help you reach membership goals. Two organizations working hand-in-hand is better than one.
One of the greatest assets the Auxiliary has is our junior members. They see and learn the benefits of volunteering to help veterans and the importance of being a part of our great organization. I want to encourage you to empower them to take part in meetings and allow them to assist in any project you undertake. Their membership is extremely valuable and will also help your unit succeed.
Junior members have two options for Auxiliary memberships. First, complimentary membership up to age 18 will automatically convert to part-life membership. Second, life membership for those under 18 allows family members to get an early start on a life membership for their juniors. The minimum down payment is $20 and applied toward a $250 life membership account.
Please remember how important membership is to what we do. Not only do we get someone else to work with us and help with our different projects, but we might also get some new thoughts that will make our units better.
As we bring in new members, be sure to welcome them and take the time to explain some of the things your unit does for our veterans and their families, as well as what you do in your community. If you do this, they will be better prepared to help and even recruit more junior members. We all want to feel like we are valuable and truly an asset to our units, and juniors are no different. Embolden and support them to be active members of your unit.
Lastly, I hope you are taking advantage of all the information available for your use to inspire membership. These items, found on the Auxiliary website at auxiliary.dav.org/membership, are for everyone to use—you don’t even need to sign in.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call national headquarters at 1-877-426-2838 and follow the prompt for option 8 to be connected to DAV Auxiliary.