Founded in 1868, the Elks are a non-political, non-sectarian organization open to any American citizen over the age of 21. We have more than 800,000 members at 1900 locations across the country.
When it comes to serving veterans, the Elks have a long and storied tradition of being there when they were needed most. Since we began, the needs of military members and returning veterans have continued to change, and the Elks have adapted to those needs, remaining an ever-present ally to those who have served this country.
In 1946, the Elks National Veterans Service Commission was formally established, formalizing the Elks' commitment to serving veterans. The ENVSC is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, and operates thanks to a generous grant from the Elks National Foundation.
Today, we let our history guide and inspire us to forge ahead and continue our service. Elks National Veterans Service Commission programs are focused on meeting the needs of today's veterans.
All our funds go towards these five areas, which research shows are the greatest needs for veterans, military members and their families:
Through the Voluntary Service program, Elks provide ongoing, monthly support to thousands of veterans in more than 350 VA Medical Centers, State Veterans Homes, transitional centers, rehabilitation clinics and other veterans facilities across the country.
Our Leather Program helps veterans rehabilitate by providing leather therapy kits and wheelchair gloves to veterans.
We sponsor adaptive sports events and provide art and music programs to keep veterans active and engaged.
Freedom Grants offers Elks Lodges the chance to connect directly with veterans and military members in their communities, providing them with needed services.
Our Welcome Home initiative gives veterans experiencing homelessness a hand up by providing them with emergency assistance, home supplies and an ongoing connection to the Elks community.