News from the Front

Elks use Boost Grants to Lift Veteran Spirits

What do skiing, ice cream, and virtual reality have in common?

ENVSC 2022-23 Annual Report

Every day, our volunteers are proving that Elks will never forget our nation's veterans. This report is our attempt to offer an overview of our work and the individual stories that make that work so meaningful. Take a look!

The 2023-24 ENVSC Mid-Year Report

Halfway through the Elks year, participation in the Elks Voluntary Service Program has returned to pre-Covid levels, 600 Freedom Grant projects are in motion, and the Welcome Home Kit program continues to break records. Read more about what Elks have accomplished for veterans in 2023-24 so far.

Food, Friendship, and Focus Grants

There are countless ways to serve homeless veterans, and Elks are chock-full of creative and thoughtful ideas. Ready to get started with your own big idea? Read on for some examples of how Elks around the country are using grant funds, and learn how to apply for an ENF Community Investments Programs (CIP) grant to reach veterans in your community.

Deputy Representatives are an Integral Part of Voluntary Service

Have you ever thought about getting involved with Voluntary Service, but you're not sure where to start? Read on for more information about how to become a Deputy Representative.

Boost Grants Inspire Voluntary Service Reps to Go Above and Beyond

Each year, Voluntary Service Representatives have the chance to expand service at their facilities. Read about how these volunteers are taking advantage of this opportunity.

Elk Member Brian Kinney Chosen as VA NAC Male Volunteer of the Year!

The Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks is proud to announce that Brian Kinney of Cynthiana, Ky., Lodge No. 438 was awarded the VA NAC Male Volunteer of the Year for 2023!

Nourishing Community Through Communal Gardens

Members of Fremont, Calif., Lodge No. 2121 used a grant to build raised gardens beds at a supportive housing complex for formerly-homeless veterans. In addition to fruits and vegetables, the volunteer helped plant the seeds of community.

ENVSC in Minneapolis: Read our Convention Recap

Did you miss the ENVSC at the Convention in Minneapolis? Want to relive the fun? Check out our recap. From celebrations to trainings to boxes and boxes of socks, we lived it up at the 2023 Elks National Convention. Read about all the fun.

Congratulations to the 2023 Elks Veterans Service Volunteer of the Year

Announcing Thomas Kramin of Willmar, Minn., Lodge No. 952 as the 2023 Elks Veterans Service Volunteer of the Year!

ENVSC in Minneapolis

Will you be in Minneapolis for the Elks National Convention this July? If so, please join us at these Veterans Service events!

Spring is Here and Voluntary Service Reps are Busy!

Baseball, gardening, and cookouts are on the schedule for warmer weather.

ENVSC in 2023-24

We have big plans for the year ahead: more beds for veterans, more funds for Voluntary Service Representatives, and the return of flexible Freedom Grants!

Joining Forces: A Guide to Building Strong Partnerships for Focus Grants

Check out our tips for building lasting relationships with community partners, such as HUD-VASH departments at the VA, Community Resource and Referral Centers, national and local nonprofits, and veterans’ shelters.

Welcome Home Kits: It Only Takes a Little to get Started

The Welcome Home Kit program is growing in popularity each year! We caught up Linda Califf of Gainesville, Fla, Lodge No. 990 about how her Lodge got hooked on helping veterans with home supplies.

Tips for Serving Homeless Veterans

As a member of San Rafael, Calif., Lodge No. 1108, Peter Behr uses a combination of grants, Welcome Home Kits, and Lodge funds to aid veterans facing homelessness. Here, read about Peter's process and his advice for other volunteers.

The Latest Voluntary Service News

Get inspired by some of the latest activities that Elks volunteers are organizing for veterans in their communities!

Elks Serving Veterans During the Holidays

The holidays are here! Elks are holding to the pledge to remember veterans and serve them during this holiday season.

Changing Lives with Focus Grants

Big things are afoot with Focus Grants! Read about how Elks have been serving veterans experiencing homelessness.

ENVSC 2022-23 Mid-year Report

It's halfway through the Elks year, and ENVSC volunteers are set to break participation records. Read all about it in our mid-year report!

Celebrating Veterans Remembrance Month

In an effort to recognize and support our nation’s veterans, Elks National President Bruce Hidley has proclaimed November to be Veterans Remembrance Month. Let's celebrate with service!

September is National Suicide Prevention Month

One way that Elks can help prevent suicide is to spread the word about the new Veterans Crisis Line.

Welcoming Veterans Home in Florida

Lodges across the country have started participating in Welcome Home Kit Program to better serve transitional veterans that may have been homeless. We reached out to Live Oak, Fla., Lodge No. 1165 to ask about their first time participating in the program.

An Ounce of Prevention

Learn how the Emergency Assistance Fund helps veterans remain stably housed in times of crisis.

Elks in Atlanta

It was a hot time in Atlanta for the 2022 Elks National Convention. Read all about it!

Veterans "Tackle" New Experiences

Members of Westchester, Calif., Lodge No. 2050 know that everyone needs a little adventure in life. Elks use a Focus Grant to host a series of outdoor excursions for homeless veterans, including fishing and whale-watching trips.

Focus Grants in Action

Last year, Elks volunteers were busier than ever serving homeless veterans. Check out some of our favorite Focus Grant photos from 2021-22!

Elks Family Traditions at Hoop Shoot

It wasn’t just basketball that brought people together at the recent Elks Hoop Shoot National Finals. As a way to connect contestants and their families with the Elks’ mission of service, the weekend included a service activity. Read about it here!

Elks Member Stewart Israel chosen as the VA NAC Male Volunteer of the Year

The Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks is proud to announce that Stewart Israel of Plymouth-Ann Arbor, Mich., Elks Lodge No. 325 has been selected as the VA NAC Male Volunteer of the Year!

Serving Veterans in Rural Communities

Learn more about the conditions faced by veterans living in rural communities, and how you can serve them.

Freedom Grant Webinar & News

Freedom Grant applications are online now through April 15. Watch a recording of our 2022-23 Freedom Grant Webinar, and learn about program changes. Consider applying for a $1,000 Freedom Grant Spark!

Voluntary Service Spring Activity

Voluntary Service Representatives are returning to veterans' facilities. Here's a look at some of the activities they have been hosting.

In Their Own Words

Each veteran facing homelessness has their own story to tell. Read what veterans have to say about how the Emergency Assistance Fund has impacted their lives.

Fighting Veteran Hunger

Food insecurity can impact anyone, even veterans. Here's how your Lodge can help!

National Salute to Veteran Patients Week

How are Elks getting involved in the VA's annual celebration of veteran patients? Read more about it here.

The Compassion Cure

A new program from VA to fight veteran isolation.

Elks Partner with Oscar Mike

The Elks National Veterans Service Commission is partnering with Oscar Mike to create more adaptive sports opportunities for veterans! We've designed 4 items to help celebrate the 75th anniversary of the ENVSC and support the Oscar Mike Foundation. Check them out here.

Halfway to the Finish Line

The Elks fiscal year is officially half over. Read about what the ENVSC accomplished so far in 2021-22!

Elks Share Voluntary Service Experiences

In October, ENVSC hosted the first online panel discussion with Representatives from the Voluntary Service program. Read on for some of the ideas our volunteers shared during the panel.

Veterans Remembrance Month

November is Veterans Remembrance Month! You can celebrate by joining your fellow Elks in service to veterans.

Voluntary Service Zoom Event

Learn about the Voluntary Service program and hear how ENVSC volunteers have been serving veterans in their communities at our first ever Voluntary Service panel discussion.

Elks Voluntary Service: By the Numbers

Elks members and their spouses starting volunteering in VA facilities in 1955. Since then, the Elks Voluntary Service Program has grown exponentially, to serve veterans wherever they seek care.

Battling Veteran Homelessness

In 2015, the ENVSC made a pledge to help end veteran homelessness. Read about how our Emergency Assistance Fund is shaping veterans' futures and giving them the security they deserve!

Supporting Mental Health During a Pandemic

As a volunteer, learn how you can support mental health and wellbeing for the veterans in your life.

Community Connections Help Veterans Thrive

Learn how members of one California Lodge form lasting connections with the veterans they serve.

Teamwork Builds a Home

Find out how a truckload of donations helped grow a new partnership with ESA to benefit veterans exiting homelessness.

An Exhausting and Productive Year

The past year and a half have been tumultuous, to say the least. Longstanding projects were shaken up, canceled, or reworked entirely. Lodges scrambled to navigate ever-changing guidelines, trying to serve veterans while ensuring everyone’s safety.

One woman who handled the roller coaster of last year with grace and determination is Emma Pletz of Milwaukie-Portland, Ore., Lodge No. 142, earning her the title of 2021 National Veterans Service Volunteer of the Year!

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