Local Girl Wins National Award

Kristine Seward (center) with Post 377 Commander Vincent Valdivia, Unit 377 President Rebecca Valdivia, her grandparents John and Rachel Seward and Unit 377’s youngest junior member, Isabel Ramirez.

She is a person of substance, discipline and caring and has great respect for our country and our military. Kristina Seward is a senior at Providence High School in Burbank where she is an honor roll student. She is also a junior member of American Legion Auxiliary Unit 377 in Tujunga.

Every year, the American Legion Auxiliary recognizes heroism and helpfulness of junior members by presenting the Good Deed Award. Since its inception in 2002, over 1,000 awards have been given to deserving youths. To be eligible for this prestigious award, the junior member must demonstrate an act of valor, donate their time and/or money for a worthy cause and serve as an inspirational role model for the organization. Seward met these criteria in several ways.

  • She led a campaign to change one of her school’s policies: restore feminine hygiene products in restrooms within the high school. For the proposed policy change to be considered, she had to write a business proposal and collect over 1,700 signatures. She succeeded.
  • Seward initiated the Operation Gratitude Program at American Legion Post 377 in Tujunga. Operation Gratitude offers the American people a way to express gratitude for the military. Since 2003, Operation Gratitude has distributed over 3.5 million care packages to military members around the world. These packages contain items to boost the morale and resilience of service members and give them warm reminders of home. Included in these packages from home were “beanie babies.” Why “beanie babies?” Deployed Marines have stated they give “beanie babies” to children in war-torn countries and, in turn, the children give them the location of IEDs (Improvised and Explosive Devices). Seward spoke at both the Legion and Auxiliary meetings in February 2021 and began collecting “beanie babies.” The project ran for three months and Seward collected over 2,000 “beanie babies.”
  • With the success of this project, Seward began another project under Operation Gratitude – Jot-A-Note. Every Operation Gratitude care package includes a note thanking the troops, veterans, new recruits or wounded heroes for their service to the country. Seward set up a Jot-A-Note station at Post 377 that included a mailbox, blank note cards, paper, index cards, pens and pencils, colored markers and envelopes. For the period of October 2022 to February 2023, she collected over 1,000 notes that were sent to Operation Gratitude to be included in their care packages. Other Legion Posts and Auxiliary Units found out about this project. Seward went to each of the seven Posts in District 20 in California and set up a similar station for them. To provide supplies for these stations, she sought donations from local businesses.
Kristina Seward with National American Legion Auxiliary President Vicki Koutz.

Kristina Seward is a member of the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 377. She serves as an inspiration to other young people she encounters.