The holidays are a time of year to give gifts and spend time with your family members and loved ones. But it can also be a difficult season for some of our country's most noble military service members. So many of our veterans may be out of uniform, but they are still fighting battles back in civilian life, and some are completely without support.
Ask what you can do
Look up who is helping veterans and military members in your area and ask what they need. Unless you're donating money, it's very important to ask before you donate to ensure your gift or care package has the greatest impact. Most organizations likely have a wish list, so call ahead to see what they are lacking.
Call before you drop in
No matter who you're helping or how you want to volunteer, it's always best to schedule your visit. Before you show up to help, contact the organization or assistance program you want to help and find out when is the best time to drop by.
Donate to your local USO
.@vineyardvines is making a whale of a difference for the USO this #GivingTuesday! Learn how you can join them as a Force Behind the Forces: https://t.co/pEKs3izC5M #BeTheForce pic.twitter.com/W91Nq5RVMb
— USO (@the_USO) November 28, 2017
Look up your local branch of the USO to donate financial assistance directly to vets in your area. The USO is not a government organization, it's funded by donations. They help both active duty troops and military families, as well as transitioning soldiers and wounded warriors.
"Adopt" a Veteran
There are several programs that help civilians connect with a lonely or isolated vet, including the Elk's Lodge popular Adopt a Veteran program.
Organize a fundraiser
Select a nonprofit organization to give to and organize a bake sale, craft sale or community garage sale to raise funds for it. Here is a list of reputable charities that provide veterans assistance.
Donate your car
If you have a car that you no longer need, consider donating it to Cars for Veterans. It's a tax-deductible donation even if it's no longer running.
Volunteer with the VA
If you have a giving heart but no money to donate, you can still donate your time. You can sign up to volunteer with the VA to show your gratitude to our nation's soldiers.
Work with Soldiers' Angels
Soldiers' Angels is an organization that supports homeless veterans, deployed troops, wounded warriors and military families. You can get involved by donating or volunteering.