The holidays represent a season filled with spending time with loved ones and giving thanks to all of the memories that have been made.
But what about giving back to those that have risked their lives for us? Many of us don’t give it much thought.
Let’s change that and make a difference this holiday season! Discover the ways that you and your family can give back to our veterans.
Supporting Through Donation
You would be surprised by the number of organizations that specialize in providing care for our veterans.
These organizations provide food, shelter, clothing, and even job services to our veterans all year long. Donating something as simple as a jacket or even $5 can help the cause.
Here are some of the organizations and Veteran Associations you can make your donation to.
Disabled American Veterans is an organization that provides an invaluable service to veterans by helping with disability assistance, their pensions and job programs.
Soldier’s Angels sees to it that “no soldier goes unloved,” by taking care of the growing veteran population.
Schedule A Pick-Up and Donation Town are services that’ll help you by picking up your donations straight from your own home. These services help even the busiest families help be a part of the change!
Hope For The Warriors is a 10 year organization that was founded by military families in 2006 that witnessed the effects of war on service members and their families. Donating and supporting this group means further assistance for military members and their families whether that may be health and wellness or even transitioning back into the civilian world.
All in all, do some quick research online and you'll have many opportunities to make a donation through any of these organizations.
Many of them have detailed payment options on their official websites.
This will allow you make a one-time cash donation or setup a subscription to a monthly donation plan.
Volunteering and Getting Involved
Giving back to the veterans doesn’t necessarily have to revolve around a monetary donation or any kind of gift.
You can give something way more valuable – your time.
By volunteering your time, you'll have an unique opportunity to be engaged in dozens of projects.
Almost all organizations provide those who are interested with many opportunities to help the veterans.
For instance, Homes for Our Troops build homes for injured veterans in order to help rebuild their lives for their specific needs.
They are always looking for ways to push their mission whether you’re interested in being a partner, contractor, or even a volunteer.
Putting Together a Care Package
Creating a care package is not only a simple, but creative idea that helps you express your gratitude to our veterans or even active service members.
Here is a simple how to on creating the best care package:
1. You can reuse a box that you already have as long as it’s okay to ship.
2. Decorate the inside and/or outside of the box in order to fit the different branches that they may have served.
Marine Corps: Scarlet & Gold
Army: Black & Gold
Navy: Blue & Gold
Air Force: Blue
3.Add in some snacks, photos, and even decorations!
4. Don’t forget the letter! A handwritten letter can be a powerful thing that many of us take for granted. Personalizing this care package can really touch the ones that you’re sending to. You can even create a custom phone case for a veteran or an active service member that you know with a thank you or a photo.
5. Seal everything with a ziplock. You never know how the post office will be shipping your care package and so keep everything ziplocked and mess free.
TIPS & TRICKS:
Know the military mail deadlines for the holidays! It can take anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks for your package to get delivered so ship early!
Keep the package smaller than a shoe box. You never want to send too big of a package since it might be returned. :(
Lastly, send a card enclosed with all of the contents in the package just in case the package breaks open!
Random Acts of Kindness
Making a donation, volunteering through VA associations and sending care packages to veterans are not the only ways of expressing your gratitude to the veterans for their service.
The simplest of gestures can make a huge difference, especially during the Holidays.
Some of our veterans can feel lonely or disconnected from their families or even society in general.
Here are a few things that you can get a veteran feeling appreciated.
1. Saying, “thank you for your service.” This simple saying makes everything they have gone through worth it.
2. Paying a visit to a local retirement home. Some veterans love sharing their experiences and would love for you to come and talk to them.
3. Lastly, you can write a simple post card or note. Like we said before, a handwritten letter is a powerful thing. :)
As you can see, none of the ways to give back mentioned above is complicated, nor does it require a lot of your time and effort.
You should also keep in mind that sometimes a gesture means a lot more than the donation or gift itself.
With this in mind, let’s make a difference this holiday season and give back to our veterans and active service members!