U.S. teachers are asking kids to write to our veterans. What are they saying? “Thanks for protecting our country. [You] must be very brave joining the military. They say a man looks handsome in uniform. My favorite food is chicken wings, and I like to hang out with my friends,” one girl, age 9, writes.
Believe it or not, there is a lot to take away from these well-intentioned — and often hilarious — letters. The most important thing to take away from them is that helping military families, supporting our troops, and doing our best to address the many problems facing today’s veterans can be relatively simple and inexpensive. What are some of the best ways to pitch in?
Make It Personal
CNN suggests finding organizations “focused on the specific needs of military families, from helping to pay a bill or find a place to stay to getting diapers.” A growing number of charities allow military spouses to submit particular requests online. From there, a member of the community can volunteer to fulfill that request.
Similarly, if you know a military husband or wife personally — don’t wait for them to ask for your help! There are plenty of creative ways to offer to lend a hand without making it awkward. Draw up creative coupons offering “one night of babysitting,” “two hours of lawn mowing,” or “three hours help with errands,” one military mom recommends.
Donate Clothing Without Leaving Home
There are a fair share of charities that pick up clothing donations — and some even pick them up directly from your home. Other, similar charities ask you to drop off clothing donations, toy donations for children, and other items at communal pick up locations, such as schools, hospitals, churches, and office buildings.
Eat Good Food, and Make New Friends
One of the best ways to help military families is to get everyone in on it. Make it fun. Host a barbecue or pancake breakfast benefiting active military members and/or veterans. Have everyone pitch in — to avoid having one person shouldering all of the responsibility.
Help military families, soldiers, and veterans — without spending large amounts of money and committing unreasonable amounts of time. Lend a hand by picking a specific request to fulfill, donating clothes straight from home, or working with a large group of people to put together a community event.