LuAnn McDonald grew up in what could only be described as a quintessential military family.
Both of her grandfathers and her father served in the U.S. Army. Her grandmother served in the U.S. Marines. Two of her brothers served in the U.S. Navy. Then she started her own family, with a husband who served in the U.S. Air Force, a son who served in the U.S. Army, and a daughter who served in the U.S. Navy.
“My daughter and son were serving at the same time, they were overseas, and war was getting ready to break out,” LuAnn said.
“I was always so close to the TV to see what they were going to do, and that was one of things I remember the most because it was so scary, knowing I had two kids over there who would hopefully come back to us.”
At every stage of her life, LuAnn has lived the sacrifice and struggles of our military servicemembers and their families. These experiences gave her a passion to serve veterans in all places of their journey to recovery and integration into civilian life. That’s why she became a member of the American Legion Auxiliary over nine years ago.
“I’m prideful, that’s the best way to describe it,” LuAnn said. “I would never miss a chance to brag on them. I mean, they are out there serving for us, and they deserve the recognition.”
Since joining the ALA, LuAnn has worked alongside her Auxiliary unit to raise money and awareness for veterans in need. They sponsor veterans in their local nursing homes, host meal fundraisers, and last year, they raised awareness and almost $2,400 for homeless veterans by spending the night on the sidewalk.
Members of LuAnns’s Auxiliary unit also honor veterans after they pass away. Some of her most profound memories have been from visiting funerals of local servicemembers, speaking to their families, and gifting them a poem to show the Auxiliary’s appreciation for their sacrifice.
Now the president of her ALA unit and district, LuAnn has seen the growing need for all of these programs, and how getting the Auxiliary name out in the community and raising money is vital for continued success.
“There are so many veterans out there who need financial help,” LuAnn said, “so by giving donations through whatever means, we can support them.”
That’s why she has her Amazon account working double duty — getting her the materials she needs and supporting the American Legion Auxiliary Foundation. With just a few clicks, LuAnn turned her Amazon obsession into a revenue stream for programs that support veterans, military, and their families.
“I love Amazon. If there’s not an Amazon package on my front door, my husband thinks something is wrong,” LuAnn joked.
“So for me, it was not a question of why use AmazonSmile. The real question is, why not?”
AmazonSmile is free and gives .5% of qualified purchases back to the nonprofit organization of your choice. Over the years, supporters have raised over $21,500 for the American Legion Auxiliary Foundation just by making their regular Amazon purchases!
Get started today at www.ALAforVeterans.org/Amazon-Smile. AmazonSmile has recently been updated and can now be used on the app, as well as on your desktop, so all purchases, even on the go, can make an impact on our nation’s heroes.