Buddy Checks

Sioux Falls, SD

Post 15 has made an effort to reach every single member who has not renewed in 2023. The effort is ongoing. We have a membership committee that is each assigned members, about 100 each (we have over 1,700 members in our database with renewal dates of 2021 or 2022). Every month they each receive an updated list. Early in the fall they will email those who have an email. Others they call. Once the first of the year hits we ask that they start checking obituaries and making home visits. Sometimes our weather here in South Dakota hinders that - most who are active on this committee are over 70.

Last week a letter was sent to all 2022 members who have not renewed. The first item of business was "how are you?" Letting them know we are doing Buddy Checks for all we have not heard from in some time. We have received information back about veterans who have died or have been moved into nursing homes because of deteriorating health. We offer our condolences or ask if we can assist the family of the veteran in any way. We also add the deceased veterans' names to our Post Everlasting service we hold each spring.

Then we are fortunate to also have some renew. They simply forgot or are confused because of how the renewal dates are set (July 1, 2022, for the year 2023) We are thankful for those we are able to renew. We update all of their contact information and make sure to get our latest newsletter to them. We also share the next few upcoming events - fun things like our monthly pancake breakfast or our monthly "Legion Family" social. With any luck at all they will attend one of those and we will get to know them, and they get to know us. After the meeting/event we take a photo of the new members or members who have not attended in some time. This gives them a chance to be welcomed by the officers and our chaplain after the meeting or event is over. Great way to start a conversation.

Some veterans have decided for one reason or another not to renew. We accept their decision and let them know they are welcome at any time. We share that the national commander is standing for veterans and the benefits they receive with the newest being the signing of the PACT Act.

We have surpassed our goal in 2021 and 2022. Praying we can for 2023 also.

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