Anne ParkerAnne Parker, 69, a heavily involved member and a part of the American Legion Auxiliary Foundation Board of Directors, is going on her 14th year of membership with the ALA. Anne joined during her husband’s career as a defense contractor after his time in the U.S. Air Force. Upon returning from an assignment in Germany, Anne and her husband learned that he had received another assignment in the Middle East for a year. Anne could not go with him, leading her to join the ALA in search of community, but resulting in many years of service to veterans, military, and their families.

“I joined and I guess you’d say the rest is history,” she said. “There are so many wonderful friendships, and my life would be far less rich if I hadn’t had those experiences.”

Throughout her time as an ALA member, Anne has served in many different ways, including department president, on the National Executive Committee, and as Western Division chairman for the National Security Committee. She now serves as an elected board of directors member for the ALAF, and its work has stolen her heart — especially after she helped her South Carolina unit acquire an ALAF grant to help pay for computer equipment for a new veterans house that was being built.

“[National Headquarters] made a video of what my Foundation grant got, and that was featured at National Convention,” she said. “I thought, ‘This is really where I need to put my heart, my unit has been a beneficiary, and I want to help be in a leadership position with the Auxiliary Foundation,’ and it’s been a wonderfully rewarding experience,” she said.

Anne has not only dedicated much of her time and energy to the ALAF, but she is a monthly donor as well. Monthly giving can seem like a big commitment, but with Anne’s rationale, it doesn’t seem so bad.

“Once I belonged to the board of the ALAF, I wanted to do more, then I found out about the monthly giving aspect. At that point, we were not going out to dinner, and I picked what was [the cost of] one meal for my husband and me at a moderately priced restaurant, and said ‘Well, we eat at home a lot now, so I’ll just donate per month what we would’ve spent to go out once a month,’” she said.

Anne pointed out that giving monthly is not only easy to budget for … it just feels really good.

“It gives me a feeling that I am making a difference; I am contributing regularly, not just once a year,” she said. “Just try it once. It’s not a lifetime commitment. It’s a month-by-month commitment. Just try it. It feels really good for me to see that donation in my checking every month.”

Members like Anne help the ALAF have an amazing effect on our nation’s heroes, and the more people volunteer and give regularly to it, the greater the impact.

“What the Foundation has done and what the Foundation is doing, even in pandemic times, it’s absolutely amazing the things they are able to accomplish,” Anne said. “What we’re doing is making a difference. “

If you wish to join Anne in making a difference in the lives of veterans, military, and their families, click here to start a monthly gift to the American Legion Auxiliary Foundation. It doesn’t take much to support our nation’s heroes. Just the cost of one dinner out a month!