This time of year is filled with joy and warmth for families across the country. The holiday season gives us a day to slow down and reflect on our blessings thought the year. With all the festivities, family, and food, it’s easy to forget the millions of people who struggle to provide their families with necessities daily. Veterans and their families often make up this population even with their past service and dedication to our country.
Below are a few ways that you can give back this holiday season and help a veteran or military family in need.
According to the Center for American Progress, 1 in 5 military veteran families live paycheck to paycheck in today’s society. Military families often have a tight budget and if the head of household is disabled or injured due to combat, this can be even tighter. There are various programs dedicated to providing groceries, gift cards, toys, and more to military families in need. Soldiers Angels is an organization known for coordinating between donors and adoptees. Programs like these have made holidays special for these families and are a fulfilling way to give back to your communities.
Volunteering is a great way to help veterans this holiday season. There are countless programs dedicated to supporting veterans who need support from the community! The VA has programs for various branches of the work they do for veterans.
VA volunteer programs include:
- Student volunteer program
- Volunteer transportation network program
- National salute to veteran program
If you are looking for volunteer work and have a passion for supporting our veterans, the VA can find the perfect program for you to get started.
Although the VA carries many programs to uplift veterans. They are not the only entity that works to maintain the well-being of veterans after they finish their active duty. Many that have served our country do not get backed by the VA completely and are left to their own vices. America has a large homeless and at-risk veteran population. With many veterans being misdiagnosed or unattended to, they suffer from severe PTSD, anxiety, and depression that often heightens during the holiday season. Homeless shelters are always in need of items like food, blankets, socks, underwear, general hygiene products, and monetary funds. With your volunteering and donations, you can ensure that homeless veterans have something to be thankful for during these trying times.
A simple way to show support to veterans and their families this holiday is to acknowledge their sacrifice. Say, “thank you!” If you’re not able to physically provide the time or donate funds to veteran organizations a thank you goes a long way. Make the conscious effort to say how grateful you are to veterans in your local community. This can be done by sending a letter or creating an on a post-social media platform. Veterans are everywhere! It might surprise how many you know are right in your networks.