June and Roy Ator love children. Especially their own grandchildren and greatgrandchildren, of course. But they also embrace the National Home children as part of their extended family, saying “our kids deserve the best care we can provide for them.”
In 1988, very soon after June joined the VFW Ladies Auxiliary and Roy joined the VFW, these Korean War veterans joined us as Life Members. Since they knew relatively little about the National Home at the time, June and Roy jumped at the opportunity to check us out in person when visiting relatives in the Great Lakes region.
That visit cemented the Ator’s long relationship with us. As they recall it now, the National Home exceeded all their expectations. “Wow!,” Roy says, “Instead of finding a dormitory or two, or a few cottages, we saw a thriving, self-sufficient patriotic community with beautifully landscaped homes!”
And they also saw how much life changing impact their donations were able to achieve. They explain: “We’ve been privileged to observe new arrivals on campus and then to see them again after they have had a few months living in this wonderful community. Long, blank, sad faces on arrival changed to smiles and laughter following a period of adjustment with new hope in their lives!”
Now retired and living near family in Lipan, Texas, Roy and June continue to actively support the National Home as Life Members and through our recurring gift program. Both have purchased customized bricks on campus, commemorating their honorable service during the Korean War – June in the Army, Roy as a combat veteran and retired submarine service. In addition, Roy served on the National Home Board of Trustees from 2004 – 2009.
In the years since they joined us, the Ators have developed a keen awareness of the biggest challenge facing the National Home: FUNDING! “As a non-profit organization solely dependent on donations for operating capital and within the context of dismal economic times, the annual budget is always the major issue,” they note, suggesting that others contact the development staff for information on the many Trustee approved plans available to supporters.
We are tremendously appreciative of the Ators’ generosity, caring, and years of dedication to our cause. Given their modesty, though, it’s probably not too surprising that June and Roy express equal appreciation for us, saying: “Our association and involvement with the VFW National Home for Children has been a major factor of enjoyment in our twenty five years or so of being active members of the VFW & Ladies Auxiliary.”