FORT KNOX, Ky. — A simple donation technique at Fort Knox is yielding big dollars for Army Emergency Relief.

Customers who shop at Army & Air Force Exchange Service facilities are given a prompt at the end of their purchases asking if they want to add $1 or more to AER and Air Force Assistance Fund. In 2022 alone, the prompt has locally added over $12,600 to the Annual Campaign.

“It’s been very successful in 2022 for Fort Knox itself,” said Fort Knox Exchange general manager Donald Basil. “We received those donations all through the registers and our online Exchange website, which allow shoppers to give 24/7.”

Basil said the pin pads at self-checkout lanes prompt shoppers to participate in the donation process, but cashiers also encourage it.

“The cashiers are asking if customers want to make a donation,” said Basil. “Based on the numbers, it has been pretty effective, and it’s a great way for us to give back to the community.”

Basil said the AAFES slogan “Family Serving Family” fits nicely with the AER slogan “Soldiers Helping Soldiers.”

“That’s what we feel that we are doing by giving these donations and dividends back to the community,” said Basil.

As a non-appropriated fund organization, AAFES has a mandate to return a portion of its profits to the military communities it serves through support of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation and other programs.

“A portion of our earnings is given back to Fort Knox,” said Basil. “[U.S. Army Installation Management Command] is the one who decides how much Fort Knox gets, but the more sales we have and the better we manage our business, the more earnings we generate that we can give back to the community.

“We’re proud to give back to Soldiers. This is what we do; it’s what the Exchange does every day for our customers.”

To donate to AER, visit an Exchange facility or go online at If you need funds from AER, request them at