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Featured Mini-Grantee | American Legion

2024-05-08T19:41:33-04:00May 8th, 2024|

Supporting Jersey City Veterans

The American Legion is a non-profit veteran service organization that advocates for veterans and patriotism across the United States.  Because veterans often feel separated from, and forgotten by society, the American Legion Post 419 in Jersey City strives to build strong community bonds between veterans and residents in all city wards (A-F).  Among Post 419 members, there is no rank or prejudice, only purpose.  “Veterans are members of the community… the community is part of our veterans.”


HealthierJC + American Legion Post 419

Jersey City Post 419 believes that Building a Culture of Heath means building a more unified and collaborative community through programs, services, compassion, and actions that are inclusive.  Both veteran and community members are committed to enhancing the well-being of all – all ages, races, cultures, religions, socioeconomic strata, or sexual orientation.  In the military tradition… “we leave no one behind.”

Post 419 understands that a healthy community with diverse open-minded members is a safe community.  Encouraging a culture of healthy and safe living year-round, the organization:

  • Sponsors activities where veterans and civilians work together, participate in community events, and supports struggling community members
  • Facilitates community access to the resources and education needed to pursue a healthy lifestyle


Mini-Grant Results

With the HealthierJC mini-grant, American Legion Post 419 connected to 50 veterans, senior, and low-Income residents of Ward C.  They participated in community events such as the Bergen Square Day and Egyptian Festival to connect veterans with the community, and offered outreach to all in attendance.  In fact, several individuals from the Egyptian Festival expressed interest in working more closely with Post 419 on veteran programs and events moving forward.

The HealthierJC mini-grant was also used to contract with a local firm DigitalSkratch to design and build a Post 419 website.  The site was needed to:

  • Better inform veterans of American Legion services and resources available to them
  • Educate family, friends, and the public on the challenges that veterans face
  • Communicate more effectively with community members and volunteers

In late summer of 2023, Post 419 helped a 93-year-old veteran, who was living in a dark and damp basement apartment, get approved for Veteran Housing.  In addition, they were able to use mini-grant funding to purchase a bed for the veteran’s 3-year-old son.



 Making a Difference…

“We wanted to try something different,
getting veterans involved with civilians, and civilians involved with veterans” 
—Jersey City Beacon Post 419 Commander Ruth Cordner

“We don’t have money, we don’t have a building, we meet in a church,” Cordner said, “and [the] Partnership for Healthy JC [has been] fabulous.”

 “Veterans are treated like a separate entity,” Cordner said.  “We get veterans involved in joint projects with the community like cleaning up parks and an abandoned cemetery.”

When a bed was purchased for the child of a deserving veteran, someone shockingly stole the box that the bed was packaged in.  “We reached out to Amazon, FedEx, and the Seller and got nowhere,” Cordner related. At that point the city’s Division of Veteran Affairs’ DeWanda Sabbs got involved.  She explained that the stolen bed was for a veteran’s child, and that cash-strapped nonprofit Post 419 had raised the funds for it.  Sabbs “got Amazon to issue a credit, we purchased the bed again, and I can now attest that it has been delivered.”

Recently, the Post has been reaching out to troubled youth.  “We want to welcome them into the fold where they will meet good role models,” Cordner said. “And it makes the veterans feel good to do it.”

Cordner concluded that helping veterans live well and connecting them to the Jersey 

City community are core to their mission, and the source of rewarding experiences for American Legion Post 419 members and volunteers.   

For more information, visit the Post 419 website: