In an organization where you can join at any age, Amanda Washburn is younger than the average American Legion Auxiliary member. But at just 25 years old, Washburn has just as much passion and drive to serve veterans, military, and their families as any other member.
Washburn knows her generation of ALA members has different passions and skills than more seasoned members, and that’s a good thing.
“For me, it’s when you find a niche that you stay active,” Washburn said.
For example, Washburn takes care of public relations and writes the newsletter for her unit. Some young members in her unit like to attend meetings, and others do not. She knows it’s all about finding people’s strengths and using them to further the cause.
“Maybe they like to serve at the Memorial Day dinner your unit has, or maybe they are the ones who like to cook the food,” Washburn said.
No matter the event or project, having unit members with diverse skillsets makes it easier to move the ALA mission forward.
Just like with volunteering, Washburn believes everyone — including young members like herself — should donate in whatever way they can. Whether it’s one big gift at the end of each year, linking the ALA Foundation to your AmazonSmile account, or even leaving a charitable bequest, every gift, no matter the size, makes a major impact.
“We hear all the time that our younger members are the future of our organization,” Washburn said. “If we want to be the future and have a strong organization to support, then we have to step up and contribute.”
That’s why Washburn decided to start a monthly gift.
“The best part of the monthly donations is it fits into a person’s budget,” Washburn said. “I think, for younger members, that is key. They might not be able to afford $150 in one payment, but when you break it up into 12 payments, it is much more manageable.”