American children are putting their parents to shame. Kids of all ages are taking a few moments to write heartfelt letters to U.S. soldiers and veterans. “Thanks for protecting our country. [You] must be very brave joining the military,” one letter begins. “They say a man looks handsome in uniform. My favorite food is chicken wings, and I like to hang out with my friends.”
True, the letters are unintentionally funny — but they are also making an incredible difference and brightening soldiers’ and veterans’ days. Similarly, American adults can commit to helping military families, soldiers, and/or veterans — without also committing a lot of time or money. Here are some of the best — and least expensive — ways to help:
Be a Friend
Asking for help can be intimidating and sometimes even humiliating. Don’t wait for military families to ask for you help. If you know a military husband or wife, proactively offer to lend a hand. One military mom suggests drawing up creative coupons, offering a free night of babysitting, one day mowing the lawn, or two hours help with errands. Tuck the coupons into gift baskets, and give them on special occasions, birthdays, and holidays.
Make Clothing Donations Without Leaving Home
A considerable number of charities allow you to donate clothes without leaving home. These charities pick up clothing donations from homes and apartments, saving you gas money and a trip. Similar organizations establish communal pick up locations. In other words, these particular charities pick up donated items from schools, office buildings, churches, libraries, and so on.
Get Together With Your Neighbors
And probably some friends and family, too. Work with the people around you to organize an event benefiting military families, troops, and/or veterans. Throw a barbecue or potluck dinner, for example.
Giving back to our troops does not have to be expensive or particularly timely. Donate clothes without even making an extra trip, get people together to host a group event, or creative simple coupons offering help when and where you can.