About the Program

The Home Service Program, concentrating on individuals with Cerebral Palsy, is a collection of 27 Home Service Directors and the vans that the directors use to provide individualized services to adults and children with disabilities and their families in their home communities. Since inception, the program has grown to encompass every county of New York State. The staff provide referrals for appropriate evaluation and program services, advocacy, counseling, follow-up and program development.


In the late 1940's, parents of children with cerebral palsy and other disabilities were constantly frustrated by the lack of services to meet their children's special needs. A number of these parents banded together to advocate for solutions and founded United Cerebral Palsy Associations of New York State, Inc., (UCPA/NYS). Upon sharing their mutual concerns, it became apparent that hundreds of people with disabilities were homebound due to a lack of knowledge and experience in providing for their needs and that ultimately, the heaviest burden of day-to-day care was borne by families in their homes. Hence, UCPA/NYS resolved to seek out and develop the necessary array of community-based services to support persons with disabilities and their families.

On March 15, 1964, representatives of the New York State Elks Association and the UCPA/NYS met to discuss a joint venture that would benefit children and adults with disabilities and their families. As a result, the NYS Elks Service Program was adopted as an Elks Major Project. Since that time the New York State Elks Association has contributed over $10 million to the UCPA/NYS for the Home Service Program including $460,000 in the last year.

On April 1, 1966, the first two Home Service Directors began mobile services to persons with disabilities and their families. Since 1966, the program has grown and expanded to every county of New York State with 27 Home Service Directors serving over 12,000 individuals with disabilities.

In 2001 UCPA officially changed their name to Cerebral Palsy Associations of New York State.
Currently, Cerebral Palsy Associations of New York State is a broad-based, multi-service organization encompassing 24 Affiliates and 18,000 employees providing, supports, services and programs for more than 100,000 individuals with cerebral palsy and developmental disabilities and their families throughout New York State.

Additional Information

NYS Elks Home Service Program- A case manager can be available to assist individuals in short-term linkage and referral to services available in their communities. To qualify for Home Service Director assistance, a person would have similar needs as someone with a developmental disability.

The Home Service Director position is supported by annual contributions and fundraising by the NYS Elks and their Major Projects Program. It is due to their support that the Home Service Director can offer individuals and families timely assistance.

Our Legacy to the Future

In 1928, one man's dream became a reality for all Elks and the communities we serve. Then-National President John F. Malley envisioned a plan that would “unite the forces of the Order into a mighty army for the service of mankind.” During the annual Grand Lodge Convention in Miami that year, Malley's call to service inspired delegates to take action by voting to establish the Elks National Foundation with an initial $100,000 grant.

More than 90 years after Malley shared his vision with the Order, the ENF continues to unite all Elks in service to their communities.

Our Mission

The mission of the ENF is to help Elks build stronger communities. We fulfill this pledge by investing in communities where Elks live and work. We help youth develop lifelong skills, send students to college, meet the needs of today's veterans, support the charitable work of the state Elks associations, and fund projects that improve the quality of life in local Elks communities.

Our Impact

Since inception, the ENF has contributed more than $500 million toward Elks charitable projects nationwide. Our programs continue to grow each year, allowing Elks to do even more to build stronger communities. Click here for details on all ENF programs.

This year, the ENF allocated nearly $16 million to fund the Community Investments Program, investing in Elks communities through grants for Elks Lodges. Community Investments Program grants offer your Lodge an opportunity to serve your community in ways that will raise the Lodge’s profile, energize the membership, encourage former members to return to the fold, and gain the notice of people who want to be part of an organization that’s doing great things.

How the ENF Works

The ENF is able to help Elks build stronger communities thanks to contributions from our generous donors. Since inception, we have received more than $288.7 million in contributions and bequests. Today, we have nearly 120,000 active donors and an endowment fund valued at $715.5 million.

A board of seven trustees, who are all past national presidents of the Order, governs the ENF, which is located at the Elks national headquarters in the Elks Veterans Memorial in Chicago. The director, Jim O'Kelley, oversees the administration of the ENF’s day-to-day operations. Click here to meet O’Kelley and his staff. The ENF also has volunteers at the Lodge, district and state levels who help coordinate our fundraising strategy and implement our programs.

Thanks to the ongoing support of our donors, the ENF continues to expand on Malley’s vision, mobilizing Elks across the country into a force for positive change.

Join your local Lodge in service to your community. Click here to learn more about the Elks.

Our Finances

FY2021, Total Income: $62,047,958.
FY2022, Total End-of-Year Net Assets: $848,319,159.
Explore our most recent IRS Form 990.

A program of the Elks' Grand Lodge Fraternal Committee, this contest is geared towards students in 5th through 8th grades to promote patriotism among young people.


  1. Eligible participants must be Students enrolled in the 5th, 6th, 7th or 8th grade at the time of the contest.
  2. Essay length is not to exceed 300 words.
  3. Essay must be typed or legibly printed in ink. Also, Essay must be submitted as written (or typed) by the entrant.
  4. Essay must be submitted for judging to the Elks Lodge nearest to the address of the entrant.
  5. Participant must be identified by name, grade, school attending and sponsoring Elks Lodge on the Essay.


Plaques awarded by the Grand Lodge for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Place for national winning essays in Division I and Division II. Plaques will be sent to the respective State Associations for presentation to the winning Local Lodges.

Application Packet

Click the large button to the right of this year's theme to download the application materials. All applications must include the coverpage to identify the student and local Elks Lodge it is submitted to. Essay should be submitted to your nearest local Elks Lodge on/before December 15, 2022.

Elks pledge "So long as there are veterans, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks will never forget them." The Elks National Veterans Service Commission takes that pledge one step further, and promises service to our nation's veterans and military members, with a special focus on service to those in need.

Thousands of Elks volunteers give generously of their time, energy and resources to serve veterans and military members each day, to ensure that pledge is not an idle one.

Today, our volunteers provide direct service to veterans in more than 330 facilities each month. Through our grants to Elks Lodges, we connect with veterans and military members in their communities, providing them with services where they live. We help veterans rehabilitate and thrive through adaptive sports programs and therapy kits. And our Welcome Home initiative is reaching out to some of our most vulnerable veterans: those who are experiencing homelessness.

Welcome to the resource center for the Elks National Drug Awareness Program - the largest volunteer drug awareness program in the United States. We are very proud of our dedicated army of volunteers who freely give their time and talents to this most noble cause.

The Elks are committed to eliminating the use and abuse of illegal drugs by all members of society and believe that in order to ensure a bright future for our country, it is essential that our children be raised in a drug-free environment.

Resources and more

Trivia Game
Coloring Books
Contest for Kids
DAP Comics
Teen Zone

The Elks National Hoop Shoot

The Hoop Shoot has been developing gritty kids for 50 years. The Elks Hoop Shoot is a free throw program for youth ages 8-13.

About Hoop Shoot

Through the Hoop Shoot program, the Elks been developing and reinforcing grit for nearly 50 years—long before researchers and experts concluded that grit is so important for our children. Just listen to the parents and contestants in these videos. They’re talking about grit.

Basketball Hall of Fame

Each year, the six Hoop Shoot National Champions will have their names listed alongside their picture in a brand-new digital exhibit in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts. Additionally, two of the Frank Hise National Champions are in attendance when the Hall of Fame inductees are honored at the Enshrinement Ceremony.

Morgan Wootten Lifetime Achievement Award

The Elks Hoop Shoot is the proud new sponsor of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame’s annual Morgan Wootten Lifetime Achievement Award. The Hall of Fame awards two Wootten Awards annually to boys and girls high school coaches who have dedicated their lives to the betterment of student athletes. The award is named for Morgan Wootten, a legendary high school basketball coach enshrined at the Hall of Fame.

Soccer is one of the fastest growing youth activities in the country. The Elks Soccer Shoot Program is geared to coincide with this sport phenomenon. From toddlers to teens, in our large urban centers to our small suburban settings, soccer is becoming the sport of choice for our youth. This program is the kind of sporting event to help keep our youth focused and away from undesirable activities.

The Elks Soccer Shoot program consists of two different contests that test different level skills at different ages. A "Five Goal Contest" consists of a series of five goals, decreasing in size from 48 inches to 17 inches. The age group that uses the goals in this contest are U-8 for ages 7 years old and younger. The contest is open to boys and girls who shoot separately. The U-8 contestants kick from 15 feet from the face of the goal.

The Grid Goal Contest consists of a full-size goal sectioned off so points can be scored when the ball is kicked into certain sections. The age groups that use this goal are U-10, for ages eight and nine, U-12, for ages ten and eleven, and U-14, for ages twelve and thirteen. The contest is open to both boys and girls and they shoot separately.

Winners at each contest are eligible to advance to the next of competition. The levels are Local Lodge, District, State, and Region. Winners at both the State and Region levels will have their scores sent to the national level to determine a National Champion in each of the age and gender groups.

The Elks Soccer Shoot Program is a terrific program for our youth, the future of our country. See if this program is avaiable in your area by contacting the local lodge near you.

One of the fastest-growing co-ed sports in America is golf. With younger players such as Rickie Fowler and Michelle Wie, golf is becoming as popular among boys and girls as soccer. Many high schools now have golf not only as a co-curricular sport, but also as a PE class. Local golf courses are also recognizing the growth and popularity of the sport and are sponsoring numerous programs for young golfers.

In recognizing the popularity of this sport among our youth the Elks have introduced the "Jr. Golf" Program. Programs like these are popular on a national level and encouraged by the nationwide agencies that promote golf, such as the PGA and the USGA. Many local golf courses have youth programs like these to encourage and promote participation in the sport.

Most Elk sponsored Jr. Golf events are open to the public community children. For more information on the "Jr. Golf" Program and to see if this program is avaiable in your area, contact the local lodge near you.

Season of Service:
Elks Scholars Serve in Chicago and Seattle

Whether serving within their local communities through an Elks Scholar Service Grant or attending an Elks Scholar Service Trip, Elks scholars value and prioritize, ahem, service. In March and May, scholars traveled to Chicago and Seattle to serve in the name of the Elks.

Finding a Place in the #ElksFamily

2018 MVS scholar Aleah Hahn has found her place in the Elks family through Elks Scholar Service Trips. In 2018, she attended the 150 for 150 service trip in San Antonio, and this March, she made her way to Chicago for another one. Though the trips were different in size and place, they shared a few things in common: connection, service and a new experience.

The newest program in Elkdom is an old one! Yes, it is the Junior Elks Program called "the Antlers." It is a chance for young people in our communities to get involved with the Elks in the many service-related projects our Lodges sponsor.

The program was initially organized in the late 1930's and went well for several years as an active arm of the Elks. However, by the 1960's interest in the program had waned and was ended. Recently, a few Lodges have restarted the program with great success.

The Antlers of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the United States of America has as its major objective the following:

  • To quicken the spirit of American Patriotism
  • To teach respect for parents and love of home
  • To inculcate the fundamentals of good citizenship
  • To aid in a worthy cause
  • To establish foundation of character
  • To promote the welfare and enhance the happiness of its Members
  • And to respect the conviction of others in the matters of worship and religion is true Americanism

Membership in the organization is open to any individual who has passed their twelfth and not yet reached their twenty-first birthday, who is a citizen of the United States of America, of good character and who believes in the existence of God.

The Dictionary Project was founded in 1995 by Mary French of Charleston, SC. It's primary focus is to promote literacy to children in third-grade as they transition from learning how to read to identify and use information. Over the course of the program nearly 15 million third-grade students have received dictionaries including about 2.5 million dictionaries donated in 2009.

Elks joined this movement in 2004. Nationwide they have donated more than 1.2 million dictionaries to third-grade students and their teachers as sponsors of The Dictionary Project over the last 6 years. There are 600 lodges that actively participate in the program. To see if your nearest lodge participates in this program, find a lodge near you.

Sample Kits

There are two different sample kits available from The Dictionary Project. Each sample kit contains five books and can be obtained for $15. One kit provides all five of the American English language dictionaries. The other kit contains a dictionary and thesaurus usage guide, Spanish to English dicionary, an English to Spanish dictionary, atlas and thesaurus.

The "Teenager" and/or "Student" Program is designed to recognize outstanding young men and women for achievements in school and community life-fine arts, hobbies, athletics, church, school, club and community service, industry and farming. Their accomplishments should be recognized and praised.

Our Local Lodges seek out Teenagers and/or Students in both Junior High Schools and Senior High Schools and select an outstanding boy and girl at both levels each month, and then yearly, and with publicity, give them awards for their accomplishments.

Nominating Procedure

The method of selecting the "Teenager and/or Student Of The Month and Year" and "Junior Teen and/or Student Of The Month and Year" is the responsibility of your Local Elks Lodge. Working in conjunction with school authorities, a student nominating committee may be named. This committee would be responsible for screening "Teenager and/or Student Of The Month" nominees in a school. If more than one school exists in the area served by your Local Lodge, an area committee may be appointed to further screen the nominees.

Click here to explore other Elks programs

COVID-19: The Elks National Foundation is here for you. Contacting us should be seamless for you. Simply email or call 773/755-4730 for assistance.

Beacon Grants

Lead an active, charitable project.

Gratitude Grants

Support local, charitable activities.

Spotlight Grants

Shine a light on important community issues.

Impact Grants

Run a large-scale community service project.

Freedom Grants

Meet the needs of today’s veterans and military members.

CIPerstars of the Week

Check out CIP grants of the week.

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