Veterans Day is right around the corner and we are looking into how you can give back to the heroes who sacrificed so much for the country.
World War I formally ended on November 11th, at the 11th hour. It is also the 11th month. (Softschools)
Do Anything You Can
The first and most important thing you can do on Veterans Day is just to show up. Take a moment and be present with any of the activities below with whatever time you have to spare, and you will certainly make a veteran happy. It doesn’t matter if all you can do is something as simple as writing a letter to a local vet - that alone will brighten someone’s day and for that reason alone, is already worth doing.
Donate + Volunteer
If you don’t have a lot of time to spare, you can still help by donating. Whatever you can help with is already of great assistance and will surely make a difference for veterans and their families. But if you can help by volunteering, there are many options to pick from, so take a look and help in any way you can. Here’s a list of organizations where you can volunteer and/or donate:
- Blue Star Families
- Disabled American Veterans
- Wounded Warrior Project
- Homes for Our Troops
- Fisher House
- VA Voluntary Service
- USO’s Operation Phone Home
- Operation Gratitude
- Folds of Honor
- Ride 2 Recovery
- Operation Injured Soldier
- VA Voluntary Service
- Veteran Airlift Command
- Veterans History Project
- Disabled American Veterans (DAV)
If you have a talent for crafting DIY gifts, this is your chance to show gratitude in a very special way! It can be anything from a “thank you card with your unique touch, a cute postcard your kids colored, a homemade pillow, patriotic luminaries… be creative!
Even after donating to an organization, there is a lot more you can on Veterans Day by taking action on your own. Here are some awesome things you can start doing right now:
Visit a Veteran
You can find locations to visit here. There are 1896 VA facilities to pick from so find one nearest to you and visit a veteran, where you can listen to them, talk to them, bring them something nice, or simply give them a nice warm hug for their services.
Offer Your Skills to a Veteran or a Military Family
Are you good with home repair? Why not lend your talents to a veteran or a military family on Veterans Day? It’s a nice way to show gratitude and doing something you feel comfortable with. In fact, you can offer to help at anytime.
Deliver Meals or Care Packages for Veterans
Among the list of places you can volunteer, many involve delivering meals and care packages to veterans. It’s easy to do and it makes a huge difference for them.
Offer Free Rides to Disabled Veterans
You can give a ride to a veteran you know, or find one that needs transportation. You can take them one of the many restaurants offering free meals on Veterans Day, or you can volunteer to drive them to the supermarket or to a doctor’s appointment.
Write Letters to Veterans
It’s the least anyone could do. A simple “thank you letter shows immense gratitude and will surely make a veteran’s day. Alternatively, you could help your children write or draw something to a veteran - there is no greater joy than to receive a letter from a child born in the freedom they fought for.
Encourage Your Children to Ask a Veteran Questions
This is probably the best way you can teach your kids about the importance of Veterans Day. You can teach them personally about it, but if they’re old enough, it’s a lot more effective to let them talk to a veteran about their services.
Take a Veteran to a National Park
There are more than 400 national parks available that won’t charge an entrance fee on Veterans Day. Use this opportunity to take a veteran outdoors!
When you visit a veteran, ask about their service and listen to their stories. Listening is free, but it’s of great value to a fellow veteran and they will certainly appreciate it - perhaps more than you know.
They are extremely free and extremely meaningful. Hug as many veterans as you can! Showing gratitude is also free and it goes a long way for them, so don’t hold back. And if they’re not huggers, a simple “thank you will suffice!
There are approximately 24 million veterans living today. (Softschools)
Honor Those We’ve Lost
Doing what you can for our living veterans is not the end: we cannot forget to honor those who’ve already left us. There are organizations where you can volunteer to help the families of those who already passed away. You can also visit national cemeteries and chose a veteran to honor - a great opportunity to teach children about the importance of honoring those who fought for us.
- Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS)
- Folds of Honor - Military Scholarships for Spouses and Children
What are you planning to do on Veterans Day? Have you already started doing something you’d like to share? Any tips on how anyone can help? Feel free to share it all in the comments and follow our Facebook page for more useful articles every week!