Rally the troops! More than 2.1 million Americans serve in the military. Thousands of them work overseas protecting our country, but they don’t get too much in return for their work.
If you want to make a difference in peoples’ lives, you should support our troops. Yet that can mean many different things. Before you decide what to do, you should research your different options.
What are care packages, and what can go into them? How can you donate your time without enlisting? Who should you send your money to?
Answer these questions and you can start giving back to your community today. Here is your quick guide.
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Send Care Packages
Care packages can contain supplies and food that make a service member’s life more comfortable. If you have a loved one who is deployed overseas, you can send a care package to their military base. Feel free to add personal items like veteran pins, photographs, and letters from their relatives.
You can also send packages to service members through organizations like the USO. You can order care packages from catalogs and let the USO send them out with your name on them.
Volunteer With the Military
Military organizations need help from volunteers for a number of activities. You can volunteer with the USO and greet guests at events. You can serve food to soldiers and clean up bases.
You can volunteer at soldiers’ homes and help elderly veterans and their families. Talk to a soldiers’ home in your area and see what opportunities are available.
The VA Center for Development and Civic Engagement is the VA office that handles volunteer opportunities. Visit the center’s website to find out about opportunities that the VA sponsors.
If you like graveyards, you can help maintain a veterans’ cemetery near your home. You can lay flowers over people’s graves, clean walkways, and escort people during funerals.
Donate Your Money
You can start supporting our veterans by giving them your money. You can donate directly to veterans in your area, helping them cover their bills.
If you don’t know of any veterans, you can give your money to organizations like the Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation. The organization provides scholarships and counseling to children who have lost their parents in the line of duty.
Be careful with your money. Many organizations claim to be supporting our military, but they take your money for illicit purposes. Research a charity or veterans’ group before you send the group a check.
Support Our Troops
Everyone needs to support our troops. You can send supplies through the USO and private organizations. Food and toiletries are nice, but fun presents like enamel pins also work well.
You can volunteer with the USO and your local veterans’ groups. Try to give back however you can, including through work in a veterans’ home. If you don’t have time, you can give your money to various organizations, helping veterans and their families.
Troops and veterans need all the help they can get, so keep informing yourself. Read more guides about helping the military by following our coverage.